Navy Capable of Defending India Against Any Threat: Sitharaman
More than 10 warships participated in operational manoeuvres in a review of the navy’s maritime prowess.
The Indian Navy is fully capable of defending the nation against any form of threat, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, 9 January said after she reviewed the navy's maritime prowess.
The Minister presided over India's show of naval might, off the western coast on Monday and Tuesday, in which more than 10 warships, including aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, three submarines and various types of naval aircraft participated in operational manoeuvres, an official statement said.
Sitharaman initially embarked on INS Kolkata, the first of the indigenously built Kolkata Class destroyers, and then spent the night at sea on board INS Vikramaditya.
To assess the performance of the carrier in "real conditions", she transited through a simulated "multi-threat" environment on board along with the ship's escorts during Monday night, it said.
Sitharaman also presided over multiple complex naval operations including air interceptions, missile, gun and rocket firing, ship-to-ship replenishment, night flying and anti-submarine warfare.
The Western Fleet undertook these major naval manoeuvres off the western seaboard to showcase its operational excellence and combat capabilities.
Having witnessed first-hand the prowess of the Western Fleet, I am confident that the Indian Navy is fully capable of defending the nation against any form of threat.Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister
She also interacted closely and had open discussions with the sailors on board the warships.
The Navy had operationalised a new 'mission-ready' plan for aggressive deployment of warships in critical sea lanes around five months ago, seen as a move to counter China's growing assertiveness in the Indian Ocean region.
Sitharaman said the government was sparing no efforts to enable and empower the armed forces as they "stand firm" on the country's borders.
I am confident that your presence and preparedness will deter our adversaries from attempting any actions detrimental to our sovereignty and safeguard our interests.Nirmala Sitharaman, Defence Minister
She disembarked the ship by naval helicopter to INS Hansa in Goa on Tuesday, 9 January.
(With inputs from IANS and PTI)
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