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It is primary objective of Navy to keep Indo-Pacific open, safe and secure: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launches the frontline warship of Indian Navy ‘Udaygiri’, a Project-17A Frigate, at Mazgaon Docks Limited, in Mumbai on May 17, 2022.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launches the frontline warship of Indian Navy ‘Udaygiri’, a Project-17A Frigate, at Mazgaon Docks Limited, in Mumbai on May 17, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Indo-Pacific region is important for the economy of the whole world and India being a responsible maritime stakeholder in the region, it is the primary objective of our Navy to keep the Indo-Pacific open, safe and secure, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday while noting that global security, border disputes and maritime dominance have led nations around the world to modernise their militaries.

“If a country wants to safeguard its national interests, it should project its military prowess in areas far beyond the mainland. If a country has aspirations to become a regional or global power, it is necessary to develop a strong Naval force. Government is making all efforts in this direction. We want to make a strong, secure and prosperous India, which is recognised as a global power,” said Mr. Singh. He was speaking at the launch of two frontline warships under construction at Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai. The ships include ‘Surat’ the fourth and last ship of Project-15B destroyers and ‘Udaygiri’, the third ship of Project-17A stealth frigates.

Frontline warship ‘Surat’, a Project-15B Destroyer of the Indian Navy. File.

Frontline warship ‘Surat’, a Project-15B Destroyer of the Indian Navy. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

Udayagiri and Surat are the shining examples of India’s growing indigenous capability. The warships will be among the most technologically advanced missile carriers in the world, that will cater to the present as well as future requirements. In the times to come, we will not only fulfil our own needs, but will also meet the shipbuilding requirements of the world. We will soon realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’,” Mr. Singh said.

Stressing that India was a responsible maritime stakeholder in the region, he said, “We support consensus-based principles and peaceful, open, rule-based and stable maritime order.”

Mr. Singh stated that the ever-evolving security scenario in the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific region would demand an even more important role of the Indian Navy in the times to come and called for devising policies which focus on bolstering the country’s presence in the region, its role during disasters, economic wellbeing and carrying forward foreign policy.

In keeping with the Naval traditions, President Naval Wives Welfare Assosiation (NWWA) (Western Region) Charu Singh and spouse of CMD, MDL Jaishree Prasad blessed and named the ships Surat and Udaygiri respectively, the Navy said in a statement. “This launch also marks the commencement of the next phase involving extensive outfitting activities by the Shipyards readying these ships for delivery.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh waves before the launch of the second advanced stealth frigate warship under Project-17A named ‘Udaygiri at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), in Mumbai on May 17, 2022.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh waves before the launch of the second advanced stealth frigate warship under Project-17A named ‘Udaygiri at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), in Mumbai on May 17, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Speaking at the launch, Navy Chief Adm. R. Hari Kumar said India’s expanding strategic reach, based on the vision of SAGAR is a driver for Navy’s continued acquisition of assets with long sea legs, increased capabilities and greater endurance.

He said that to support the ‘Make in India’ initiative, 80% Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) on cost basis have been awarded to Indian vendors, amounting to investment of nearly ₹1,75,000 Crore back into the Indian economy. Indigenous shipbuilding projects, such as these, are also catalysts for employment generation and skill development. “Thus, the Navy’s budget has a significant ‘plough-back’ into the economy, which signifies our impetus towards ‘Aatmanirbharta’,” Adm. Kumar added.

The four destroyers under Project-15B at a project cost of about ₹29,643.74 Crore are a follow-on to the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers. They are christened after major cities from all four corners of the country — Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal and Surat. While INS Visakhapatnam has been commissioned, two other ships Mormugao and Imphal have been launched with the former now undergoing sea trials.

The Project-17A class is a follow on to the P17 Frigates (Shivalik Class) with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems. A total of seven ships are being constructed, four at MDL and three at Garden Reach Ship Builders Limited (GRSE).


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 4:24:56 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajnath-singh-launches-2-indigenously-built-warships/article65422105.ece