India News Network | June 24
New Delhi: The Karwar Naval Base in Karnataka would become Asia’s largest and most efficient, further bolstering the operational readiness of Inda’s armed forces, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said.
“I am confident that after the completion of this project, the Karwar Naval Base would become Asia’s largest and most efficient Naval base,” he said on Twitter after a visit to review the progress of ongoing infrastructure development under ‘Project Seabird’ on Thursday.
The Defence Minister said the base would also help in augmenting trade, economy & humanitarian aid operations.
Singh undertook an aerial survey of the project area and sites. He also reviewed the marine works and infrastructure being developed as part of Project Seabird Phase II A as also operationalisation of piers, the Ministry of Defence said.
He received on-site briefings including capability demonstration at the Shiplift Tower. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh accompanied Singh.
Project Seabird Phase IIA, cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security in 2012, includes infrastructure to support 32 ships and submarines and 23 yard craft.
The base has the country’s first sealift facility for docking and un-docking ships and submarines.
Once complete, the Karwar base will also have a Naval Air Station.
Addressing Indian Navy personnel, Defence Minister Singh referred to recent efforts to boost self-reliance, pointing out that more than two-thirds of the Indian Navy’s modernisation budget has been spent on indigenous procurement in the last five financial years.
“Out of the 48 ships and submarines, 46 are being inducted through indigenous construction,” he said.
According to the Defence Minister, the indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant was a shining example of the Navy’s self-reliance efforts. Its commissioning will be a momentous occasion in the history of Indian defence as it will coincide with the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, he noted.
He expressed confidence that Indian Navy will become one of the top three Navies in the world in the coming years and continue to play a crucial role in protecting the nation.
He used the occasion to praise the role of Indian Navy during Goa Liberation War of 1961 and the 1971 Indo-Pak war among others.
The Defence Minister complimented the Indian Navy for its invaluable contribution towards maritime and national security, besides strengthening India’s position at the strategic as well as diplomatic & commercial levels.
He lauded the Indian Navy for successfully discharging its duties of protecting the country, which through its coastline of more than 7,500 kms, about 1,300 islands and an exclusive economic zone of 2.5 million sq kms, is playing a crucial role in the development of the world.
He added that the Navy was continuously strengthening India’s relations with its maritime neighbours with focus on ‘SAGAR’ (Security & Growth for All in Region) envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India News Network | June 24