INS Visakhapatnam, a P15B stealth guided missile destroyer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy today with Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh exuding confidence that the state-of-the-art ship, equipped with latest systems and weapons, will strengthen maritime security and protect the interests of the nation.
The event, held at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, marks the formal induction of the first of the four ‘Visakhapatnam’ class destroyers, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai.
Speaking at the event, Rajnath INS Visakhapatnam as a symbol of the growing maritime prowess of the country and a major milestone in achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Make in India, Make for the World’. He added that the ship was a reminder of ancient and medieval India’s maritime power, shipbuilding skills, and glorious history.
He defined the ship as one of the most technologically advanced guided-missile destroyers in the world which would cater to the present and future requirements of the armed forces and the nation as a whole.
“The carrier will increase our reach from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. Its commissioning will be a golden moment in the history of the Indian Defence. It will be the best occasion to celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and the 50th anniversary of India’s victory in the 1971 war,” he said.
Noting that global security reasons, border disputes and maritime dominance have forced countries to move towards strengthening their military power, Rajnath exhorted the public and the private sector to take advantage of the government’s policies and make India an indigenous shipbuilding hub.
He emphasised the need to keep the Indo-Pacific region open, safe and secure, terming it as the primary objective of the Indian Navy. He asserted that India’s interests were directly linked with the Indian Ocean and the region was crucial for the world economy. “Challenges such as piracy, terrorism, illegal smuggling of arms and narcotics, human trafficking, illegal fishing and damage to the environment are equally responsible for affecting the maritime domain.