Vice Admiral Karambir Singh was appointed as the next chief of naval staff, succeeding Admiral Sunil Lanba who retires on May 30, the defence Ministry said Saturday.
Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command Vice Admiral Vimal Verma, who is senior to Singh, was among the contenders for the top post, said officials.
Besides Verma, the other contenders for the Navy Chief’s post included Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, FOC-in-C of Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar and FOC-in-C of Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, Saif sources.
Vice-Admiral Karambir Singh is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and belongs to its 56th course. He has commanded four ships at various stages of his career and has flown Chetak and Kamov helicopters.
Son of a retired wing commander, Singh graduated from Barnes School Deolali, Maharashtra, before joining the National Defence Academy (NDA).
At present, Vice Admiral Singh is serving as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam, and he will take charge as Navy Chief on May 31.
In the armed forces, it has been a long-time precedent that the senior-most officer is appointed as the chief. However while appointing the Army Chief in 2016, the government did not follow the long-held tradition of going by the seniority.
Also, in 2014, Admiral Robin Dhowan had superseded a senior officer when he succeeded Admiral DK Joshi as Navy chief. Singh has superseded Vice-Admiral Bimal Verma, who is currently serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command.