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Friday / October 7.
HomeDefenceRajnath Singh reviews development works at Karwar Naval Base under ‘Project Seabird’

Rajnath Singh reviews development works at Karwar Naval Base under ‘Project Seabird’

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“From rescuing stranded Indian nationals from affected countries to ferrying in critical equipment, including oxygen cylinders, from abroad, Indian Navy has worked tirelessly in the fight against COVID-19: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Karwar Naval Base in Karnataka yesterday, to review the progress of ongoing infrastructure development under ‘Project Seabird’. The Defence Minister was accompanied by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh. He undertook an aerial survey of the Project Area and Sites before arriving at the INS Kadamba Heli Pad. Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar and Flag Officer Commanding Karnataka Naval Area, Rear Admiral Mahesh Singh received the dignitaries.

The Raksha Mantri toured the Naval Base and received on-site briefings, including a demonstration of capability at the Shiplift Tower. Along with this, he also took a tour of the Naval Harbour, to inspect the maritime works/infrastructure being built as part of Project Seabird Phase II-A, as well as the piers’ operationalization. Apart from it, he also paid a visit to the newly built Sailors Married Accommodation, which includes modern features for water efficiency, waste management, energy efficiency, and environmentally friendly housing.

It will be Asia’s largest Naval base: Rajnath Singh

While interacting with Project Seabird Contractors & Engineers and Officers, Sailors & Civilians of Karwar Naval Base, he expressed satisfaction at the progress of works being carried out. He hoped that after the completion of the project, the Kawar Naval Base would become Asia’s largest Naval base which would further bolster the operational readiness of the Armed Forces and help in augmenting trade, economy & humanitarian aid operations. 

Raksha Mantri inspecting the Shiplift Tower

He complimented the Indian Navy for being a strong arm of the Armed Forces that is making an invaluable contribution towards maritime and national security, besides strengthening India’s position at the strategic as well as diplomatic & commercial levels. He stated that the Navy is successfully discharging its duties of protecting the country, which through its coastline of more than 7,500 km, about 1,300 islands and an exclusive economic zone of 2.5 million sq km, is playing a crucial role in the development of the world.

Rajnath Singh added that the Navy is continuously strengthening India’s relations with its maritime neighbours with a focus on ‘SAGAR’ (Security & Growth for All in Region) envisioned by PM Narendra Modi. He also praised the role of the Indian Navy during the Goa Liberation War of 1961 and the 1971 Indo-Pak war among others.

Rajnath Singh at Karwar Naval Base

The Raksha Mantri also highlighted some of the reforms undertaken by the Government to further strengthen the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces, including the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff and the setting up of the Department of Military Affairs in the Ministry of Defence.

The initiatives include allocation of 64 per cent of modernisation funds under capital acquisition budget for 2021-22 for domestic procurement; changes in Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 and increase in FDI limit in the defence sector to 74 per cent. 

More than two-thirds of the Navy’s modernisation budget has been spent on indigenous procurement in the last five financial years. Lauding the Navy’s commitment towards ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’, he stated that out of the 48 ships and submarines, 46 are being inducted through indigenous construction.

Also read: Raksha Mantri urges collective cooperation to fight terrorism

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant: A shining example!

He described Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant as a shining example of the Navy’s self-reliance efforts. He said the commissioning of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant will be a momentous occasion in the history of Indian defence as it is coinciding with the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. He expressed confidence that the Indian Navy will become one of the top three Navies in the world in the coming years and continue to play a crucial role in protecting the nation.

The Defence Minister is on a two-day visit to Karwar and Kochi. He reviewed the progress of construction of the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) in Kochi today. The project was originally approved by the NDA Government and has made significant progress in the recent past despite COVID. Commissioning of the IAC next year will be a befitting tribute to 75 years of India’s independence, said Raksha Mantri said while addressing in Kochi.

Indigenous Aircraft Carrier

The IAC boasts of nearly 75% indigenous content, from design to steel used in construction, to key weapons and sensors. DAC has also recently accorded approval for the RFP of Project 75-I under the Strategic Partnership model. These measures will help enhance the Indian Navy’s operational reach and prowess to protect India’s maritime interests. The Indian Navy remains poised and combat-ready to tackle any challenge, said the Defence Minister in a series of tweets.

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