The Indian Navy’s next-gen frontline warships – ‘Udaygiri’ and ‘Surat’ were introduced at the well-known Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL), Mumbai on 17 May, by Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister. ‘Surat’ is the fourth in the series of Guided Missile Destroyers – part of the P15B class. ‘Udaygiri’ is the second Stealth Frigate of the P17A class. The warships were designed by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) in-house and constructed at MDL in Mumbai.
The Defence Minister described the two warships to be an embodiment of the Indian Government’s commitment to enhancing India’s maritime capability, focusing on achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta’ when the world is experiencing massive disruptions in the worldwide supply chain owing to COVID-19 along with the war in Ukraine.
He congratulated the MDL for continued ship production activities despite the ongoing pandemic and for satisfying the strategic needs of the Indian Navy given the current geo-political scenario. He spoke of how the two warships are going to add might to the Indian Navy’s arsenal and at the same time, represent the country’s self-reliance and strategic strength to the world.
He also lauded the Indian Navy for responsibly discharging its duties of keeping the Indo-Pacific region open, safe and secure. The Indo-Pacific region is critical for the worldwide economy. India is a responsible maritime stakeholder in the region. The country support consensus-based principles and open, peaceful, rule-based, and stable maritime order. Being one of the most important countries in the region, it is the objective of the Indian Navy to keep the Indo-Pacific safe, secure, and open.
Rajnath Singh observed that the ever-evolving security scenario in the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific region would demand a more important role for the Indian Navy in the future. He called for introducing policies that focus on boosting the country’s presence in the region, economic wellbeing, role in disasters, and carrying forward foreign policies.
Asserting that global security, border disputes, and maritime dominance have led nations around the world to modernize their military, the Defense Minister exhorted the public and the private sectors to make full use of the capabilities by taking advantage of the Government’s policies and contribute toward establishing the country as indigenous shipbuilding hub. He assured of possible support of the Government in such an endeavour.
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