The government is committed to enhancing India's maritime capabilities, Rajnath Singh said

A strong naval force is a must for safeguarding national interests & making India a global power, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.

Launching two indigenously developed warships, INS Surat and INS Udaygiri, he said they project India’s strategic strength & self-reliance prowess to the world.

“If a country wants to safeguard its national interests, it should project its military prowess in areas far beyond the mainland. If a country has aspirations to become a regional or global power, it is necessary to develop a strong naval force. Government is making all efforts in this direction," he pointed out.

"We want to make a strong, secure and prosperous India, which is recognised as a global power,” Singh added while launching the two warships at Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.

INS Surat is the 4th P15B class Guided Missile Destroyer, and INS Udaygiri is the 2nd P17A class Stealth Frigate. The Directorate of Naval Design (DND) developed both warships in-house and constructed them at MDL in Mumbai.

In his address, the Defence Minister described the warships as "an embodiment of the government's unwavering commitment to enhance the country's maritime capability," for achieving "Atmanirbharta," at a time when the global supply chain is being disrupted by Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“The warships will be among the most technologically advanced missile carriers in the world, that will cater to the present as well as future requirements. In the times to come, we will not only fulfil our own needs, but will also meet the shipbuilding requirements of the world. We will soon realise Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’,” he said.

Defence Minister Singh praised the Indian Navy for carrying out its responsibilities of maintaining the Indo-Pacific area as open, safe, and secure in a responsible manner. "The Indo-Pacific region is important for the economy of the whole world," he pointed out.

Singh was of the view that the ever-evolving security scenario in the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific region would demand an even more important role of the Indian Navy in the times to come.

He also lauded the Indian Navy for playing a critical role in implementing the government's initiatives such as Act-East, as well as improving ties with ASEAN and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) nations.