Rajnath Singh visited the Cochin Shipyard Limited were the vessel was being built.
The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) was India’s pride and a shining example of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh said here on Friday, after a review of the vessel being built by the Cochin Shipyard Limited.
The project, that was originally approved by the NDA government, has made significant progress in the recent past despite COVID-19.
Commissioning of the IAC next year would be a befitting tribute to 75 years of India’s Independence. The combat capability, reach and versatility of the aircraft carrier would add formidable capabilities in the defence of the country and help secure India’s interests in the maritime domain, Mr. Singh said.
Referring to his visit to Karwar on Thursday to review Project Seabird which would be the largest Naval Base of the Indian Navy in future, Mr. Singh said it would provide the facilities and infrastructure to support the Navy’s operations in the Indian Ocean Region and beyond. The government was committed to a strong Navy and these two projects were examples of the unwavering focus.
“Our impetus on modernisation, harnessing India’s indigenous industry and know-how is a key priority. That 42 of the 44 warships on order are being built at Indian shipyards is a testimony to this. The IAC boasts of nearly 75% indigenous content, from design, to steel used in construction, to key weapons and sensors. Indigenous development of niche manufacturing technologies is set to gain impetus.”
These measures would help enhance the Navy’s operational reach and prowess to protect India’s maritime interests. The Navy remained poised and combat ready to tackle any challenge. Its proactive forward deployment during the Galwan standoff signalled “our intent that we seek peace but are ready for any eventuality”.
The Navy also made significant contributions in the fight against COVID-19, bringing back Indian citizens from overseas during Op Samudra Setu-I, and much needed Liquid Medical Oxygen during Samudra Setu-lI, despite dangers of the pandemic’s spread on board warships. Search and rescue efforts by the Navy during Cyclone Tauktae showcased the spirit of daring and courage among the men and women in white, he said.
Our efforts were in alignment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR, or Security and Growth for All in the Region, and the wider goal of a Free, Open and Inclusive Indo-Pacific, to ensure peace and stability in the region, Mr. Singh added.