Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday undertook a sea sortie on submarine INS Khanderi and lauded the Navy for maintaining high state of readiness and offensive capability to meet any threat.
After spending hours under the sea, witnessing the combat capabilities and offensive strength of the submarine, he termed the experience as “wonderful and thrilling”, and said, he is more assured of India’s security.
He also said operational readiness and preparations are not a provocation to any aggression but a guarantee of peace and security in Indian Ocean region. The Defence Minister made these observations during his two-day visit to Karwar starting Thursday.
The Karwar naval base is spread over 11,000 acres and is home to lone aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. The base is being developed under Project Seabird and plans are to base more than 30 warships and submarines there by the end of 2025. The indigenously designed and built INS Vikrant, likely to be inducted into the Navy this August, will also be based at Karwar.
INS Khanderi was built at the Mazagon Docks Limited(MDL), Mumbai in collaboration with France.
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 him, officials said here later.
The day-at-sea also provided him a glimpse of the submarine’s capability to effectively counter anti-submarine operations by an adversary. Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and other senior officials of Indian Navy and Ministry of Defence were also present.
Interacting with media persons after the sortie, Rajnath said, “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 described ‘INS Khanderi’ as a shining example of the ‘Make in India’ capabilities of the country and appreciated the fact that 39 of the 41 ships and submarines ordered by the Indian Navy are being built in Indian shipyards.
He, however, assured that the preparations being made by the Indian Navy are not a provocation to any aggression, but a guarantee of peace and security in the Indian Ocean region. 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.
With this, the defence minister has now witnessed first-hand the three-dimensional combat capability of Indian Navy, after having embarked INS Vikramaditya in September 2019 and conducting a sortie on the P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft earlier this month.