- the final day of the Naval Commander's Conference on Thursday, Rajnath Singh addressed the Indian Navy's senior leadership.
- The Defence Minister praised the Navy for establishing itself as the "Preferred Security Partner" in the Indian Ocean Region and for successful rescue operations of Seychellois nationals at sea
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh praised the Indian Navy on Thursday for its visible, credible, and responsive presence in the Indian Ocean Region, highlighting the naval forces’ contribution to India’s maritime security.
On the final day of the Naval Commander’s Conference on Thursday, Rajnath Singh addressed the Indian Navy’s senior leadership. Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Defence, was also there, as were the Defence Secretary and other senior Defense Ministry officials.
Singh praised the sea warriors for their professionalism and dedication in continuing to protect the nation’s maritime interests while maintaining a high operational tempo, stating that he had met extensively with commanders and sailors of the Indian Navy in the last three years. He also praised the Navy on the successful staging of MILAN, which included 39 friendly foreign nations.
The Defence Minister praised the Navy for establishing itself as the “Preferred Security Partner” in the Indian Ocean Region and for successful rescue operations of Seychellois nationals at sea, anti-narcotics operations in February, and deployment of the Navy’s Flood relief teams in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
When asked about the world’s current security situation, Singh cited the continuing war between Russia and Ukraine, saying that it has once again underscored the importance of being self-sufficient and independent. He praised the Indian Navy for being in the vanguard of the government’s ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ effort, saying that the Navy must continue to lead the way and serve as a vital guarantor of India’s maritime trade, security, and national prosperity.
“It is heartening to note that, in line with the Government’s ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ initiative, the Navy has re-invested over 64% of its Capital budget into our own economy, and I am told that the percentage share of modernization budget is bound to grow up to 70% towards indigenous procurement in this fiscal year,” he said.
He expressed his delight that 39 of the 41 ships and submarines on order are being built in Indian shipyards, and urged the top leadership to maintain their focus on futuristic capabilities development to guarantee that the nation’s maritime might rises in parallel with the nation’s economic interests.
Speaking about the progress of the first indigenous aircraft carrier and the successful completion of the three sea trials, Defence Minister said that the delivery of Vikrant would be another milestone event, and that all-out efforts would be required to ensure that the ship is delivered and commissioned in the 75th year of our independence.
Since the last Commanders’ Conference, the Navy has commissioned key naval units, including INS Visakhapatnam, the first ship of the P15B project, INS Vela, the fourth P75 submarine, and INAS 316, the Navy’s second P8I squadron at INS Hansa, Goa.
In the last six months, he praised the Indian Navy’s numerous initiatives to advance military diplomacy, including the gift of two Fast Interceptor Craft to Mozambique, technical support for the refit of ships from Friendly Foreign Countries, Joint Surveillance of Friendly Nations’ Exclusive Economic Zones, and the conduct of bilateral and multilateral exercises.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the meeting provided Naval Commanders with an opportunity to reflect on critical maritime issues at the Military Strategic level. They also discussed important concerns affecting our national security with senior government officials. In the current security situation, the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Air Force Staff met with the Naval Commanders and reviewed ways to improve Tri-Services synergy and readiness.
Along the sidelines of the conference, the Naval Commanders talked with ‘Think Tanks’ on strategic topics. (ANI)