Dry Dock commissioned
The Government is making concerted efforts to modernise the Navy and equip it with the best platforms, weapons and sensors to deal with any conventional and unconventional threats to India’s maritime interests, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Speaking at the launch of INS ‘Nilgiri’, the first of the Navy’s seven new stealth frigates, at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai on 28 Sept 2019, he said 70% of India’s trade by value and 95% by volume is taking place through the sea route and even a slight disruption of seaborne trade due to piracy, terrorism or conflict, could have serious repercussions on the economic growth and well-being of the nation.
India is growing and its commercial interests are spreading far and beyond, yet there are challenges, including a hostile neighbourhood, he said.
“State-sponsored terrorism remains a challenge and the strong-willed- Government will not hesitate to take tough decisions in the larger interest of the country,” he underlined.
Saying that “any credible defence of a country is based on the indigenous defence capability”, Singh emphasised on ‘Make in India’ and ‘Design and Make in India’ with regard to defence equipment.
He highlighted that Directorate of Naval Design has designed over 19 classes of ships to which more than 90 ships have been built since then.
He said, today India belongs to an elite group of nations which is building its own Aircraft Carrier and Strategic Submarines.
“Out of total 51 ships and submarines on order at various shipyards as on date, 49 are being constructed indigenously. This contributes to our target of building a US$5 trillion economy by 2025 and 70% defence indigenisation by 2027”, he said.
“A vibrant shipbuilding industry can play a major role in the overall economic development of the country”, the Minister said.
Almost 87% of the total warship cost is invested in the Indian economy which significantly contributes to nation building.
Singh expressed confidence that Nilgiri and the other six ships of the Project will proudly fly the Indian Flag across the oceans, showcasing India’s shipbuilding prowess and would spread India’s message of peace and strength across the globe.
He appreciated the work done by the workforce of the shipyard, saying that the ship is not just metal and paint, it is a story of hard work, sweat and perseverance of the men and women involved with the project.
INS Nilgiri is the first ship of Project 17A. Project 17A frigates is a design derivative of the Shivalik class stealth frigates with much more advanced stealth features and indigenous weapons and sensors. These frigates are being built using integrated construction methodology. The P17A frigates incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability.
Singh also commissioned the largest dry dock of Indian Navy – The Aircraft Carrier Dock at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. He termed it as an “edifice of modern India”. fiinews.com