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Defence Minister addresses naval commanders; witnesses 'twin-carrier' operation

Shri Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister addressed the 1st Naval Commanders' Conference of 2024 onboard INS Vikramaditya. Photo: @rajnathsingh, X.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday witnessed the combat prowess of aircraft carriers INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya in a "twin-carrier" operation in the Arabian Sea and addressed the top naval commanders on the evolving maritime security scenario in view of geo-political upheavals.

The inaugural session of the three-day naval commanders conference saw Singh embarking at sea to witness the Navy's ability to conduct operations deploying both the aircraft carriers.

In his address to the commanders, Singh highlighted the Navy's important role in maritime security and maintaining India's sovereignty and urged the commanders to remain prepared to deal with all kinds of challenges while assuring the government's all-possible support.

"If India's reputation has increased in the Indian Ocean Region and wider Indo-Pacific, it is due to the bravery and promptness of our Navy," he said.

"It has become synonymous with credibility in the Indo-Pacific region. The Navy is a reflection of India's growing stature on the global canvas," he said.

The defence minister underscored the importance of jointness and synergy of the three services amidst the constantly-evolving geopolitical scenario including increasing use of drones in modern-day warfare.

Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said the "twin-carrier" demonstration served as a "powerful testament" to the crucial role of sea-based air power in maintaining maritime superiority.

In remarks at the commanders' conference, the defence minister commended the Indian Navy for increasing its multi-dimensional capabilities in the Indian Ocean region and continuously emerging in a leadership role.

He particularly appreciated the Navy's efforts to work towards peace and prosperity across the Indo-Pacific region, in line with India's policy of Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).

Singh also lauded the anti-piracy operations of the Indian Navy in the Indo-Pacific region which, he said, is being appreciated not only in the country but across the globe.

The naval commanders are likely to deliberate on a host of crucial issues including China's growing military forays into the Indian Ocean as well as the situation arising out of the Houthi militants targeting various cargo vessels in the Red Sea and adjoining areas.

In the course of the three-day conference, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan along with Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande and Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari will engage with the naval commanders on a wide range of issues including ways to boost tri-services convergence.

The naval commanders' conference serves as a platform for naval commanders to discuss important security issues at the military-strategic level as well as interact with senior government functionaries under an institutionalised framework.

Being held against the backdrop of evolving geopolitical dynamics, regional challenges and the current volatile maritime security situation in the region, the conference plays a pivotal role in shaping the future course of the Indian Navy, the spokesperson said.

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