India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, which will be commissioned next year, will add “formidable capabilities” to the country’s defence, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday (June 25).
In a statement after visiting Cochin Port to review its construction progress, Singh described the carrier as India’s pride and a shining example of ‘atmanirbhar Bharat’.
“Commissioning of the IAC next year will be a befitting tribute to 75 years of India’s independence,” Singh said.
“The combat capability, reach and versatility of the aircraft carrier will add formidable capabilities to our country’s defence and help secure India’s interests in the maritime domain,” the minister said.
On Thursday Singh reviewed Project Seabird at Karwar, in Karnataka, which will be India’s largest naval base in future and provide the facilities and infrastructure to support the navy’s operations in the Indian Ocean Region and beyond.
“The government is fully committed to a strong navy. These two projects are examples of our unwavering focus,” Singh said.
“Our impetus to modernisation, harnessing India’s indigenous industry and know-how, is a key priority. Indian shipyards building 42 of the 44 on-order warships is a testimony to this”, he said.
The minister said the carrier boasts around 75 per cent indigenous content, from design to steel used in its construction, to key weapons and sensors. The Defence Acquisition Council has also recently accorded approval for the RFP of Project 75-I under the strategic partnership model, which will give further fillip to the indigenous development of niche manufacturing technologies, he said.
Reviewed first-hand the ongoing work on the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, which is India's pride and a shining example of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The IAC has made significant progress.
Commissioning of the IAC next year will be a befitting tribute to 75 years of India's independence. pic.twitter.com/N9542pJneq
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 25, 2021
“These measures will help enhance the Indian Navy’s operational reach and prowess to protect India’s maritime interests,” he said. Singh said the navy remains poised and combat-ready to tackle any challenge.
“Navy’s pro-active 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-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 COVID-19 spread on warships.