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First India-made aircraft carrier to be commissioned next year: Rajnath

Source: PTI
June 25, 2021 12:45 IST
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India's first indigenous aircraft carrier will be commissioned next year and its combat capability, reach and versatility will add formidable capabilities in the country's defence, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Kochi on Friday.

IMAGE: India's first indigenous aircraft carrier. Photograph: ANI on Twitter.

In a statement to the media after visiting the Ernakulam wharf of the Cochin port to review the carrier’s construction progress, Singh described it as India's pride and a shining example of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

 

"The project was originally approved by the National Democratic Alliance government and has made significant progress in recent past despite Covid.

"Commissioning of the IAC next year will be a befitting tribute to 75 years of India's independence", Singh said in the statement read out to the media.

"The combat capability, reach and versatility of the aircraft carrier will add formidable capabilities in the defence of our country and help secure India's interests in the maritime domain," the defence minister said.

The minister said it was a pleasure to review first-hand, the work being done on the indigenous aircraft carrier.

Singh, who reviewed Project Seabird at Karwar, which will be the largest naval base of the Indian Navy in future and will provide the facilities and infrastructure to support the Navy's operations in the Indian Ocean Region and beyond, said the government is fully committed to a strong navy and these two projects are examples of our unwavering focus.

"Our impetus to modernisation, harnessing India's indigenous industry and know-how, is a key priority. Forty-two of the 44 warships on order being built at Indian shipyards is a testimony to this", he said.

He said the IAC boasts of nearly 75 per cent indigenous content, from design, to steel used in construction, to key weapons and sensors.

IMAGE: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visits the indigenous aircraft carrier at the Ernakulam wharf of the Cochin port, June 25, 2021. Photograph: PTI Photo.

The Defence Acquisition Council has also recently accorded the approval for the RFP of Project 75-I under the strategic partnership model, which will give further fillip to indigenous development of niche manufacturing technologies, the minister said.

"These measures will help enhance the Indian Navy's operational reach and prowess to protect India's maritime interests," he said.

Singh said the Indian Navy remains poised and combat-ready to tackle any challenge.

"Navy's proactive forward deployment during the Galwan standoff signalled our intent that we seek peace but are ready for any eventuality," the minister added.

He said the Navy has also made significant contributions in the fight against Covid, bringing back Indian citizens from overseas during Op Samudra Setu-I, and much needed Liquid Medical Oxygen during Samudra Setu-lI, despite dangers of Covid spread onboard warships.

Search and rescue efforts by the Navy during Cyclone Tauktae showcased the spirit of daring and courage among our men and women in whites, he said.

"Our efforts are in alignment with the prime minister'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," he added.

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