New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has called for increased self-reliance and indigenisation of Indian Navy in consonance with ‘Make in India’ initiative in all respects of complex machinery, cutting edge weapons and sensors.
“I had commissioned INS Khanderi and witnessed the launch of Nilgiri last month. These platforms bear testimony to the self-reliance in warship building that the nation has achieved,” he said while addressing a Naval Commanders Conference here on October 22.
He emphasised on the need to increase the indigenous content with respect to complex machinery, and cutting-edge weapons and sensors urging all stakeholders to put in all-out efforts on these fronts.
The minister appreciated that dedicated thrust has also been accorded to marine infrastructure projects in line with the ongoing and future expansion plans of the Navy. This includes strategic infrastructure projects like the Aircraft Carrier Dry Dock at Mumbai which the minister inaugurated last month.
He urged the senior Naval leadership to maintain their focus on futuristic capability development, to ensure that the nation’s maritime power grows in tandem with our economic interests.
The Defence Minister said that for Indian economy to reach the Five Trillion Dollar mark by 2025 there is a requirement for a stable and balanced environment in which Navy has a crucial role to play by safeguarding the Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) – the economic lifeline.
He noted that it was heartening to see the swift and calibrated manner in which the Navy launched ‘Operation Sankalp’, in wake of the incidents involving attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in May and June this year. Escorting Indian Flagged Merchant Vessels through this energy lifeline of the country during ‘Operation Sankalp’, the Navy has emphatically reiterated its ability to defend India’s critical national interests.
He said the Indian Navy has also established itself as a vital tool for military diplomacy, furthering the national and foreign policy objectives through active cooperation and engagement with not just Indian Ocean Region nations, but maritime nations across the globe.
Appreciating the Navy’s Foreign Cooperation initiatives and sustained efforts at capability enhancement and capacity building of Foreign Navies, he stated that these initiatives have not only strengthened maritime security and stability in the region, but have also resulted in transforming the Indian Navy into a Preferred Partner for engagement in the Indian Ocean Region.
Speaking on the announcement by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on the CDS (Chief of Defence Staff), the minister stated that this would also improve the overall coordination amongst the three services.
Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh; Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar; Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Naval Commanders and other senior officials of Ministry of Defence were present on the occasion.