Prime News, National (New Delhi), June 26:- More than a year after the Galwan clash amid the military tussle in Ladakh between India and China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the Indian Navy’s forward deployment showed its intent and readiness.
“Navy’s proactive forward deployment during the Galwan standoff signalled our intent that we seek peace but are ready for any eventuality,” Singh said in his address after inspecting the work on India’s indigenous aircraft carrier in Kochi.
This is the first official word on the Indian Navy’s proactive deployments in wake of the tensions between India and China.
“The Indian Navy remains poised and combat-ready to tackle any challenge,” he added.
The defence minister said it was a pleasure to review first-hand, the work being done on the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), which is “India’s pride and a shining example of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” he said.
The aircraft carrier is a much-needed boost for the Indian Navy’s capabilities as the navy currently functions with only one aircraft carrier.
The defence minister said the commissioning of the IAC next year will be a befitting tribute to 75 years of India’s independence.
“The combat capability, reach and versatility of the aircraft carrier will add formidable capabilities in the defence of our country and help secure India’s interests in the maritime domain,” he said.
The construction of the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in Kochi has faced many delays since work started on it in 2009.
An additional aircraft carrier is key in wake of growing Chinese forays in the Indian Ocean Region. While INS Vikrant awaits completion even after 11 years since work on it started, China’s first indigenous carrier was commissioned in 2018 within three years of starting construction.
India currently has INS Vikaramditya as the only operational aircraft carrier while INS Vikrant is under construction and the Indian Navy has been pressing for the third one but faces resistance from the government and military planners. Vikrant is in an advanced stage and is expected to sea trials soon and be fully ready by later 2022 or early 2023.
After the Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Virat was decommissioned it is left with one functional carrier.
On the other hand, the Chinese Navy has two functional aircraft carriers with a third one expected to hit the seas soon but will take a while for it to be fully operational and a fourth one is also in the pipeline. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).
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