PM dedicates INS Vikramaditya to the nation

PM dedicates  INS Vikramaditya to the nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday dedicated to the nation India’s largest aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, while stressing on the country’s need to be self-reliant in manufacturing defence equipment.

“The Vikramaditya is being dedicated to the nation and a strong step has been taken in strengthening India’s security. I was told that 1,680 troops and several aircraft can be deployed on this carrier and this is a new milestone in our strategic capability,” Modi said, while addressing the jawans on-board the 44,500-tonne Russia-made warship.

In his first outing after taking charge as prime minister, he travelled in the INS Vikramaditya on the Arabian Sea and was briefed by top Naval officers. He was given an air and power demonstration by the Naval air wing with a flypast of important assets such as the MiG 29K, the Sea Harrier and P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft.

Calling the induction of the aircraft carrier an important day for the nation and a “golden day” for the Navy, the prime minister said: “For me, it is a matter of pride and happiness that INS Vikramaditya is joining the Navy. It is a historic step.” 

The aircraft carrier, a refitted version of Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov that was sold to India for $ 2.3 billion, was handed over on November 16 after a five-year delay.

Asserting that national security was a priority area for his government, Modi said that India had to lose the tag of being the largest importer of defence equipment and pitched for self reliance.

“We have slowly entered the field of building strategic systems. Even after so many years of independence, a country like India should not depend on others and import weapons for security. We have to get rid of this situation,” he said.

The prime minister said that while India did not “nurse the dream to look down upon any country”, it was “not ready to be humiliated”. “We are ready to move ahead looking into eyes of the world.”

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