Vice Admiral Karambir Singh has been appointed as the new Navy Chief and will succeed Admiral Sunil Lanba who will complete his three-year term on May 31 this year.
Singh will supersede Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, who is the senior most in terms of length of service.
Vice Admiral Karambir Singh Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (FOC-in-C) East will be the first helicopter pilot of Indian Navy to become Chief Naval Staff.
“The Government has appointed Vice Admiral Karanbir Singh, Eastern Naval Commander as the next Chief of Naval Staff in place of Admiral Sunil Lanba who vacates the office on 31 May 2019,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Col Aman Anand said.
This is also the second time, including the appointment of General Bipin Rawat as Army Chief in 2016, that the Narendra Modi government has not gone by seniority but merit among the senior most officers.
When issues related to naval war room leak case surfaced, the then Defence Minister late Manohar Parrikar had taken serious note of it. Vice Admiral Bimal Verma was posted in the Directorate General of Naval Operations at that time.
He has been heading the Port Blair based Andaman and Nicobar Command for almost three years. Singh is from 56th course of the National Defence Academy’s Hunter Squadron.
Hailing from Jalandhar in Punjab, he graduated from Barnes School at Deolali in Maharashtra before joining the NDA.
As a helicopter pilot, Singh has flown Chetaks and Kamovs. He commanded four ships at various stages of his career including the ICG Chandbibi (patrol craft of Indian Coast Guard), INS Vijaydurg (missile ship), INS Rana and INS Delhi (destroyers).
He also served as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff at the headquarters in New Delhi before moving to Vishakhapatnam last year as Eastern Naval Commander.