Rajnath Singh emphasizes freedom of navigation as Navy commissions destroyer Visakhapatnam


Mumbai, November 21 (UNI) Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday underlined the “rules-based order” and “freedom of navigation” in the Indian Ocean, and said some “irresponsible nations” from “hegemonic tendencies” define laws arbitrarily. .

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of Indian Navy guided missile destroyer Visakhapatnam, the defense minister launched a veiled attack on China, without naming any country, and spoke in detail freedom of navigation.

He also mentioned the native aircraft carrier Vikrant, which is being tested, and said it will increase India’s range from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

Emphasizing the importance of the Indian Ocean as a trade route, the Union Minister said: “Keeping the Indo-Pacific open, safe and secure is the primary objective of the Indian Navy.

“The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea defines territorial waters, the exclusive economic zone and good order at sea. The arbitrary interpretation of these creates rules-based problems … there are some nations, I would call them irresponsible nations, who for their narrow partisan interests and hegemonic interests are giving new definitions to these laws every day, ”he said in an apparent attack on China, although that he did not name the country.

India and other countries have expressed concern over the increased activity and presence of the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean.

“These rules are very important, but they are weakened by arbitrary definitions. It is a matter of concern. As a responsible maritime actor, India supports a peaceful and rules-based maritime order,” Singh said. .

The minister said India wants a rules-based Indo-Pacific, with freedom of navigation, where the interests of all stakeholders are protected.

He also spoke about the native aircraft carrier Vikrant, which is currently undergoing sea trials and is expected to be inducted into the Navy later next year.

“The development of INS Vikrant is also an important step in the navy’s indigenization efforts. Despite Covid, the ship has completed its first trials,” Singh said.

“Forty fighter jets can land there, and it is armed with anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and ground attack missiles. This aircraft carrier will increase our range from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans,” he said. he said, adding that its commissioning would be a golden day not only for the navy, but also in the history of the defense of India.

The stealth guided missile destroyer Visakhapatnam is the first ship in Project 15B, which entered service with the Indian Navy on Sunday.

Built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai, the 163-meter-long, 17-meter-wide, 7,400-ton vessel has been called one of the most powerful warships built in India.

The ship was built of native DMR 249A steel and is one of the largest destroyers built in India. About 75 percent of the ship’s contents are native.

UNI AO RJ


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