India does not have any aggressive design: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Speaking at the launch of the country's nuclear- powered submarine "Arihant" for sea trials, he said that the sea was increasingly becoming relevant in the context of security interest and India must re-adjust its military preparedness to this changing environment.

Singh said, "We do not have any aggressive designs nor do we seek to threaten anyone.
We seek an external environment in our region and beyond that is conducive to our peaceful development and the protection of our value systems."

The Prime Minister said, "Nevertheless it is incumbent upon us to take all measures necessary to safeguard our country and to keep pace with technological advancements world. It has rightly been said that eternal vigilance is the right price for liberty".

Congratulating everyone associated with the Advanced Technology Vessel (n-submarine) programme for achieving a "historic milestone in the country's defence preparedness", he said, "Today's launch is a reflection of the immense technical expertise that exists in our country and the strength of our research and development organisations".

Singh said, "More importantly, the launch represents the determination and patriotism of our technologists, scientists and defence personnel who have overcome several hurdles and barriers to enable the country to acquire self-reliance in the most advanced areas of defence technology".

Singh said that the construction of a submarine was a highly demanding task by itself and it was a "special achievement" for the country to develop its first nuclear submarine.
"Today we join a select group of five nations who possess the capability to build a nuclear-powered submarine," he said.

Voicing happiness over the public-private partnership in the building of the submarine, the Prime Minister said,"I am particularly glad that this submarine is the outcome of a productive public-private partnership. Private industry in India has evolved considerably during the last few decades and we should leverage its strength to achieve our defence goals."

Lauding the cooperation extended by Moscow, he said, "I would also like to express our appreciation to our Russian friends for their consistent and invaluable cooperation, which symbolises the close strategic partnership that we enjoy with Russia".

Underlining the responsibilities of the Navy, he said, "the government is fully committed to ensuring the defence of our national interests and the protection of our territorial integrity. We will continue to render all support to the constant modernisation of our armed forces and to ensuring that they remain at the cutting edge of technology".

Stressing on the need for measures to safeguard the country, Singh told a select gathering that "it has rightly been said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

Noting that years of hard work, dedication and perseverance have gone into the launch and this was worthy of emulation, he said no task is difficult and there is no greater power that the power of self-belief.

"I am confident that the lessons learnt from this launch will enable the ATV programme to achieve even better results in the coming years," he said.

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