India becoming self-reliant in Defence sector: Rajnath Singh

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: India is moving fast on the path of national integration, imbibing the spirit of swadeshi, and becoming self-reliant in the Defence sector, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday. Dedicating the indigenously-built Coast Guard Ship ‘Vigraha’ to the nation, in Chennai on Saturday, Singh dubbed the event as an important step towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

“From its design conception to development, the new vessel is completely indigenous. Indian companies should work towards making the country a Defence manufacturing hub for the whole world,” he said

Highlighting that for the first time in the history of Indian Defence, contracts for not one or two, but seven vessels were signed with a private sector company, the Minister said all the seven vessels were delivered ahead of schedule. He recalled the Coast Guard’s role in extending help to neighbouring countries in line with the spirit of inclusiveness. Rajnath Singh hailed the role of the Coast Guard in providing proactive help in saving crude carrier MT New Diamond last year, and the cargo ship MV X-Press Pearl.

The 98-metre offshore patrol vessel Vigraha was designed and built Larsen & Toubro Ship Building Ltd., and is fitted with advanced technology radars, navigation and communication equipment, sensor and machinery capable of operating in tropical sea conditions. The vessel will be based at Visakhapatnam and operate on India’s Eastern Seaboard. Vigraha was commanded by Commandant PN Anoop.

SN Subrahmanyan, L&T CEO and managing director, said, “Delivery of all seven OPVs ahead of schedule is a historic milestone. This feat bears greater significance amidst unprecedented business interruptions caused by the pandemic. With multiple naval shipbuilding programmes on the anvil, L&T is also uniquely positioned to equip the Indian Navy and Coast Guard fleets with modern ships in the shortest possible time.” State Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu was also present on the occasion.