Mar 07 2023
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said future naval conflicts will be unpredictable and called for constant vigil on the Northern and Western borders and along the entire coast line. The Minister was addressing the Naval commanders meeting on board INS Vikrant off the Goa coast on March 6th
We need to be ready to deal with all future challenges,” Singh said in his address to the navy brass. The defense minister asked them to continue focusing on futuristic capability development to overcome emerging security challenges in the maritime domain.
The holding of the top navy meet on board the aircraft carrier brought into sharper focus the country’s steps towards achieving self-reliance in the defense manufacturing sector. The 45,000-tonne Vikrant was built at Cochin Shipyard at a cost of ₹20,000 crore, and was commissioned into the navy six months ago.
The Minister also spoke of self-reliance and said it was critical for a big country such as India to be completely self-reliant, and not depend on others for its security. He said the earmarking of 75 per cent of the defense capital procurement budget for the domestic industry in 2023-24 was a testament to the government’s commitment to self-reliance in defense manufacturing. Securing the country’s borders was the first requirement to ensure social and economic progress. Stressing that economic prosperity and security go hand-in-hand, he said the defense sector had emerged as a major demand creator, which had been boosting the economy and ensuring the country’s development.
“In the next 5-10 years, orders worth over 100 billion US dollars are expected to be placed through the defense sector and it will become a major partner in the economic development of the country. Today, our defense sector is on the runway; soon when it takes off, it will transform the country’s economy. If we want to see India among the top economic powers of the world , we need to take bold steps towards becoming a defense superpower.”
Rarely are such top conferences held on board warships. In December 2015, Prime Minister Modi chaired the combined commanders’ conference on board INS Vikramaditya, India’s other aircraft carrier, off the Kochi coast. That was the first time the combined commanders’ conference, involving the top brass of the three services, was held on board an aircraft carrier.