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Moment of pride and happiness for me: PM aboard INS Vikramaditya

Last updated on: June 14, 2014 22:39 IST

Moment of pride and happiness for me: PM aboard INS Vikramaditya

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday dedicated India's largest warship, the INS Vikramaditya, to the nation and pitched for making the country self-reliant in manufacturing defence equipment and shedding dependence on imports.

In his first outing after taking charge as the prime minister, he addressed the naval personnel on board the aircraft carrier off the Goa coast, calling the addition of the warship to the force as a "historic" step.

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Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a MiG 29K jet on board the INS Vikramaditya.
Photographs: Press Information Bureau

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'Why should we import defence equipment? We must be self-sufficient'

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"It is an important day for our nation. It is a golden day in the Indian Navy's history. For me, it is a matter of pride and happiness that the INS Vikramaditya is joining the navy. It is a historic step," he said.

Stressing the need for self-reliance in defence equipment manufacturing, he said, "We need to give immense importance to the latest technology. This will help the nation. Why should we import defence equipment? We must be self-sufficient. Why can't we send our defence equipment to other nations."

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Image: Prime Minister Modi on the deck on the warship with Admiral R K Dhowan and other senior naval officers.
Photographs: Press Information Bureau

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'Government will set up a war memorial'

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The prime minister also promised to set up a War Memorial for those who sacrificed their lives for the country.

His government, he said, is committed to implement the 'One Rank, One Pension' scheme for defence personnel.

"Our government has the potential to match anyone in the world and the reason for this is the capability of our soldiers who give us the strength to do so," he said, adding that India intends to move forward in the same manner, without lowering its eyes.

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Image: Prime Minister Modi on the INS Vikramaditya.
Photographs: @nitingokhale/Twitter

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'One Rank, One Pension soon'

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Modi also called for setting up a naval NCC network across the country that could prepare a dedicated force of sailors and officers which could help the navy emerge as a major force in the coming times.

Arriving on board the warship in a Sea King chopper, the prime minister was given a ceremonial guard of honour.

He spent a few hours on board the 44,500-tonne warship, his first visit to any defence facility since becoming prime minister.

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Image: Prime Minister Modi waves after boarding a jet on board the warship.

Tags: NCC

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'India has the potential to match anyone in the world'

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The prime minister was accompanied by Union Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Defence Secretary R K Mathur and Naval Chief Admiral Robin K Dhowan.

During his stay on the ship, acquired from Russia for over Rs 15,000 crore (Rs 150 billion), Modi witnessed 'air power demonstration' by various naval aircraft, including the MiG 29K, the Sea Harriers, the P 8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft, TU 142M and IL-38SD maritime surveillance planes along with Kamov and Sea King helicopters.

He also witnessed high-speed manoeuvres by the navy's Western Fleet ships including the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, Delhi-class destroyers and Talwar-class frigates.

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Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a MiG 29K jet on board the INS Vikramaditya.


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'It is a golden day in Indian Navy's history'

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The INS Vikramaditya joined the Indian Navy on November 16 last year. The ship was commissioned by then defence minister A K Antony in Russia.

The INS Vikramaditya, a floating airfield, has an overall length of about 284 metres and a maximum beam of about 60 metres, stretching as much as three football fields put together.

Standing about 20 storeys tall from the keel to the highest point, the ship has a total of 22 decks and carries 1,600 personnel.

With her complete stock of provisions, the ship is capable of sustaining herself at sea for about 45 days. The former Gorshkov was renamed after the legendary emperor Vikramaditya.


Image: The prime minister is received by naval chief Admiral Robin K Dhowan.
Photographs: Press Information Bureau

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