Rajnath launches two frontline warships

MUMBAI, MAY 17 (UNI):- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing the gathering during the launch of two frontline warships of the Indian Navy – ‘Surat’ and ‘Udaygiri’ at Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL),in Mumbai on Tuesday.UNI PHOTO-29U

NEW DELHI, May 17: Speaking after launching two frontline warships, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that if a country wants to safeguard its national interests, it should project its military prowess in areas far beyond the mainland.
“If a country has aspirations to become a regional or global power, it is necessary to develop a strong naval force. the Government is making all efforts in this direction,” he said.
The Minister was speaking after launching two frontline warships of the Indian Navy — INS Surat and INS Udaygiri — at the Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai.
INS Surat is the fourth Guided Missile Destroyer of P15B class while INS Udaygiri is the second Stealth Frigate of P17A class.
Both warships have been designed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design and built at MDL, Mumbai.
Rajnath Singh stated that the two warships will add might to the Indian Navy’s arsenal and represent to the world India’s strategic strength as well as the power of self-reliance.
“INS Udaygiri and INS Surat are the shining examples of India’s growing indigenous capability. The warships will be among the most technologically advanced missile carriers in the world, that will cater to the present as well as future requirements. In the times to come, we will not only fulfil our own needs, but will also meet the shipbuilding requirements of the world,” he said.
The Minister lauded the Indian Navy for responsibly discharging its duties of keeping the Indo-Pacific region open, safe and secure.
“The Indo-Pacific region is important for the economy of the whole world. India is a responsible maritime stakeholder in the region. We support consensus-based principles and peaceful, open, rule-based and stable maritime order. Being an important country in this region, it is the primary objective of our Navy to keep the Indo-Pacific open, safe and secure,” he said.
The Minister was of the view that the ever-evolving security scenario in the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific region would demand an even more important role of the Indian Navy in the times to come.
He called for devising policies which focus on bolstering the country’s presence in the region.
Asserting that global security, border disputes and maritime dominance have led nations around the world to modernise their military, Singh exhorted the public and the private sectors to make full use of the capabilities by taking advantage of the Government’s policies and contribute towards making India an indigenous shipbuilding hub.
He assured of all possible support of the Government in this endeavour.
He said that more than two-thirds of the Navy’s Modernisation Budget has been spent on indigenous procurement in the last five financial years.
“Of the 41 ships and submarines ordered by the Navy, 39 are from Indian shipyards. This is a testament to the Navy’s commitment to achieving Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” he said.
Singh made a special mention of indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant terming it as a major milestone in the Indian Navy’s path of self reliance.
He hoped that the carrier will increase India’s reach from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.
The commissioning of INS Vikrant will be a golden moment in the Indian defence history, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said that he was confident that in coming years, Surat and Udaygiri will not only strike fear in the heart of India’s enemy, but also proudly carry the Indian Flag across the oceans to strengthen the Bridges of Friendship with its friends.
The Project 15B class of ships are the next generation stealth guided missile destroyers of the Indian Navy being built at the Mazgaon Docks Limited.
Surat is the fourth ship of Project 15B Destroyers which heralds a significant makeover of the P15A (Kolkata Class) Destroyers and is named after the commercial capital of the state of Gujarat and also the second largest commercial hub of western India after Mumbai, the Navy said.
Surat has been built using the Block construction methodology which involved hull construction at two different geographical locations and has been joined together at MDL.
Udaygiri, named after a mountain range in the state of Andhra Pradesh, is the third ship of Project 17A Frigates.
These are follow on of the P17 Frigates (Shivalik Class) with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems, the Navy said. (AGENCIES)