Antony com­pli­ments Navy on com­mis­sion­ing of INS Vikra­ma­ditya

SP's MAI - - MILITARY UPDATES -

Com­pli­ment­ing the In­dian Navy for the com­mis­sion­ing of the air­craft car­rier INS Vikra­ma­ditya, the De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony has said that cou­pled with the MiG-29K air­craft, the car­rier has the po­ten­tial to be­come a force mul­ti­plier in en­hanc­ing the com­bat ca­pa­bil­ity of the Navy.

Inau­gu­rat­ing the Naval Com­man­ders’ Con­fer­ence in New Delhi, Antony said, over the last six months the Navy has in­ducted an im­pres­sive range of plat­forms in­clud­ing the P-8I air­craft and the Goa Ship­yard Lim­ited built off­shore pa­trol ves­sel. In the com­ing months, the first ships of P-15A, Kolkata and P-28, Kamorta will be in­ducted into the Navy apart from ad­di­tional P 8I an ad­vance jet trainer air­craft.

Antony said the launch of our in­dige­nous air­craft car­rier on Au­gust 12, 2013, is a cru­cial mile­stone. It has placed In­dia in a se­lect group of six na­tions who can de­sign and op­er­ate air­craft car­ri­ers. “The fact that all 45 naval ships presently un­der con­struc­tion are be­ing built in In­dia is am­ple proof of our in­dige­nous ship­build­ing ca­pa­bil­ity.”

The De­fence Min­is­ter said a ma­jor boost to In­dia’s strate­gic de­ter­rence ca­pa­bil­ity was the achieve­ment of crit­i­cal­ity of the re­ac­tor on board Ari­hant. “Once we reach the next mile­stone, namely com­mence­ment of sea trails of the sub­ma­rine, it would make In­dia only the sixth na­tion in the world to build and op­er­ate nu­cle­ar­pow­ered sub­marines. This would mark another stride for­ward in re­al­is­ing our long cher­ished ob­jec­tive of achiev­ing nu­clear triad ca­pa­bil­ity,” he said. In ad­di­tion, the launch of GSAT-7 will also sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease our net­cen­tric ca­pa­bil­i­ties.”

Turn­ing to geopo­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity ma­tri­ces in and around the coun­try, Antony said, th­ese have been chang­ing and evolv­ing at a rapid pace. He ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion that the Navy has main­tained a fairly high op­er­a­tional tempo par­tic­u­larly over the past six months. “De­spite the ex­tended mon­soon, the Navy has re­mained fo­cused on mar­itime and coastal se­cu­rity in col­lab­o­ra­tion with other or­gan­i­sa­tions and agen­cies.” De­scrib­ing the loss of 18 crew mem­bers on board INS Sind­hu­rak­shak on Au­gust 14 this year as an un­prece­dented tragedy, Antony said, we need to se­ri­ously re­flect upon the in­ci­dent, an­a­lyse it and also draw lessons for fu­ture even as at­tempts to sal­vage the sub­ma­rine and an in­quiry to as­cer­tain the pos­si­ble cause of the ac­ci­dent is al­ready un­der way. “It must be en­sured that safety mech­a­nisms are ac­corded top­most pri­or­ity and stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures are ad­hered to strictly and with­out any ex­cep­tion,” he said.

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