Navy preparations not provocation to any aggression: Rajnath

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Karwar, May 27 (UNI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the preparations being made by the Indian Navy were not a provocation to any aggression, but a guarantee of peace and security in the Indian Ocean region.

The Minister was talking about the commissioning of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant and said it will bolster the maritime security of the country, along with INS Vikramaditya.

He conducted a sea sortie on one of the most potent platforms of Indian Navy – INS Khanderi, during his visit to Karwar Naval Base in Karnataka.

“Had a wonderful and thrilling experience during my sea sortie of INS Khanderi today. Spent hours under the sea and witnessed the combat capabilities and offensive strength of the state-of-the-art Kalvari class submarine,” Rajnath said in a tweet.

He was given a first-hand insight into the combat capabilities and offensive strength of the state-of-the-art Kalvari class submarine. For over four hours, the full spectrum of capabilities of underwater operations of the stealth submarine was demonstrated to the Minister, the Navy said.

Singh witnessed a wide range of operational drills with the submarine demonstrating the advanced sensor suite, combat system and weapon capability, which provides it a distinct advantage in the subsurface domain, the Navy added.

The Minister was also provided a glimpse of the submarine’s capability to effectively counter anti-submarine operations by an adversary.

The operational sortie was accompanied by the deployment of ships of the Western Fleet, an anti-submarine mission sortie by a P-8I MPA and Sea King helicopter, a fly past by MiG 29-K fighters and a search and rescue capability demonstration.

Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and other senior officials of the Indian Navy and the Defence Ministry were also present.

“Today, Indian Navy is counted among the frontline navies of the world. Today, the world’s largest maritime forces are ready to work and cooperate with India,” he said, interacting with mediapersons.

He described INS Khanderi as a shining example of ‘Make in India’ capabilities of the country.

He appreciated the fact that 39 of the 41 ships/submarines ordered by the Indian Navy are being built in Indian shipyards.

With this, the Minister has now witnessed first-hand the three-dimensional combat capability of the Indian Navy, after having embarked INS Vikramaditya in September 2019 and having conducted a sortie on the P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft earlier this month.

The second of the Project 75 submarines built under the Make in India initiative at Mazagon Docks Limited in Mumbai, INS Khanderi was commissioned by the Defence Minister on September 28, 2019.

“The Scorpene submarines are extremely potent platforms. They have advanced stealth features and are equipped with both long range guided torpedoes as well as anti-ship missiles. These submarines have a state-of-the-art SONAR and sensor suite permitting outstanding operational capabilities,” the Navy said.

Presently, the Indian Navy operates four submarines of this class with two more likely to be inducted by the end of next year.

The induction of these submarines have significantly enhanced Indian Navy’s underwater capability in the Indian Ocean Region.

Under Project Seabird, the Karwar Naval Base in Karnataka will be developed over 11,000 acres with an aim to provide fleet support and maintenance to warships. The home base of India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Karwar will be the largest naval base in Asia by 2025.

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