Panaji/New Delhi: The defence minister, Rajnath Singh, reviewed the Indian Navy’s operational capabilities during the Naval Commanders’ Conference held on board India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant off the Goa coast, on Monday. During his review, he interacted with the naval commanders and witnessed the operational demonstrations at sea highlighting the Navy’s capability to undertake multi-dimensional missions towards safeguarding the maritime interests of the country, the defence ministry said in a media release.
The operational demonstrations the defence minister witnessed included complex aircraft carrier and fleet operations, weapon firings by ships and aircraft, and on-the-move replenishment at sea. In addition, Singh also witnessed a demonstration of indigenous products, including a spotter drone and a firefighting bot.
In his address to the Navy commanders, Singh praised the Navy for resolutely protecting India’s national interests. He exhorted them to continue focussing on futuristic capability development to effectively meet the emerging security challenges in the maritime domain.
The defence minister said, “Future conflicts would be unpredictable. The constantly evolving world order has forced everyone to modify their (security) strategies. Constant vigil on the northern and western borders, as well as the entire coastline must be maintained. We need to be ready to deal with all future challenges.”
Singh also emphasized that the first requirement to ensure social and economic progress is secured borders. He asserted that India is currently moving forward with renewed thrust and zeal to achieve this objective.
The defence minister also highlighted India’s rapidly developing domestic defence industry. He said, “In the next five to 10 years, orders worth over $100 billion are expected to be placed through the defence sector, and it will become a major partner in the economic development of the country. Today, our defence sector is on the runway. Soon, when it takes off, it will transform the country’s economy,” adding, “If we want to see India among the top economic powers of the world, we need to take bold steps towards becoming a defence superpower.”
Singh commended the Navy for being at the forefront of indigenization and innovation through inductions of ships & submarines and development of niche technologies. On the commissioning of INS Vikrant, he stated that it further reinforced the belief that India’s naval designing and development is at a promising stage and more progress will be made in the times to come.
Singh also made special mention of the credible and responsive presence of the Navy in the Indian Ocean Region. He stated that mission-based deployments of the Navy have strengthened India’s position as a “preferred security partner” of friendly foreign countries in the region.