Prime minister vows to make India's forces formidable

'FDI can make India a world-class producer of defence equipment'

Prime minister vows to make India's forces formidable

Inducting the country’s largest indigenously-built warship, the INS Kolkata, into the Navy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday vowed to modernise defence forces so that “no one can dare challenge” India.

Dedicating the first of the Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyers to the nation, he said military might was the biggest deterrent to war.

“Modern military equipment armed with state-of-the-art weaponry alone is a guarantee against war. When we are capable, no one can dare challenge us,” Modi said while addressing naval officers and sailors at the Naval Dockyard here.

“When people have a sense of our military capability, nobody will ever dare to cast an evil eye on our nation.”

Besides its important role in maritime security, the prime minister said the INS Kolkata would also increase the confidence of sea traders.

“In the coming days, the INS Kolkata will inspire confidence to those involved in maritime trade. INS Kolkata is also a great communication platform and will be useful in securing India’s trade interests at sea,” he said.

He vowed that the government would modernise defence forces and do away with any inadequacy for the country’s security.

“To ensure that India emerges even stronger, that our jawans do not feel there is something wanting in our capabilities vis-a-vis other countries in protecting our nation, the government wants to modernise the defence forces,” Modi said.

Justifying his government’s decision to allow 49 per cent FDI in the defence sector, the prime minister said that India would no more be forced to import basic military hardware and eventually emerge as a world-class manufacturer of defence equipment.

“Instead of having to import even small things, we want India to become an exporter of these equipment over the next few years,” he said. The prime minister also said that his government had made several provisions in the defence budget to bring in global technology to become self-reliant in the defence sector.

The newly commissioned 6,800-tonne warship will be followed up by two other Kolkata-class destroyers – the INS Kochi and INS Chennai.

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