He pointed out that despite facing challenges on many fronts, post-Independence India continued to move forward for its security and protected itself from threats.
“Today, the country is marching ahead on the path of development, with the more-than-ever strong Navy providing security in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific region as the first responder,” he observed.
Terming the Indian Ocean a hotspot for global trade, the minister explained, “Many choke points like Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Guinea are present in the Indian Ocean, through which a large amount of international trade takes place. Many threats remain at these choke points, the biggest being from pirates.”
Reiterating India’s stand of maintaining freedom of navigation, trade and commerce among different countries, Rajnath asserted that India is determined to eradicate anarchy not only from the region, but from the entire world.
“The purpose of our growing power is to ensure a rules-based world order. Our aim is to stop illegal and unregulated fishing in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific region. INS Sandhayak will play a crucial role in achieving our objective. The intention with which the government is strengthening the Navy will realise our destiny of becoming the promoters of world peace,” he explained.
64 of 66 ships & submarines being built in Indian shipyards: Admiral Kumar
Speaking on the occasion, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar stated that the SVL project highlights the growing importance attached by the government and the Navy to the quintessential prerequisite to operating at sea – survey of the unfathomable depths of the oceans.
In order to leverage the flexibility to undertake a diverse range of roles and tasks, the Navy has been launching state-of-the-art platforms endogenously, he said.
Pointing out that 64 out of 66 ships and submarines under order are being built in Indian shipyards, Admiral Kumar explained, “This means that the Navy will invest thousands of crores in this sector, enhancing capacity of the shipyards, and capabilities of the workers as well as those employed in ancillary industries.”
The commissioning ceremony marked the formal induction of the first of the four ships of the SVL project under construction at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The project has been steered by the Warship Design Bureau of the Indian Navy. The keel was laid on March 12, 2019 and the ship was launched on December 5, 2021.
It has undergone a comprehensive schedule of trials in harbour and at sea, leading up to the commissioning.