Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley called for high levels of preparedness to counter any emerging threats, while inaugurating the Naval Commanders' Conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.
"Preparedness is the best deterrent," he said.
Jaitley started off his address to the Naval Commanders by complementing the Indian Navy for its professional attitude and its continuing commitment to protecting India's maritime interests and to meeting a large number of international obligations, in line with the India's defence diplomacy requirements.
He spoke at length about the current and emerging security scenario and challenges in the sub-continent.
He also discussed the presence of extra-regional powers in the Indian Ocean region, and referred to the situation on India's Western border and its links to internal security dynamics.
'FOCUS CONTINUOUSLY ON BUILDING UP INDIGENOUS KNOW-HOW'
In his address, Jaitley acknowledged the various pending crucial requirements of the Navy.
He went on to assure the Commanders that the government is looking at all issues positively and will soon take steps to allocate resources to address various shortfalls.
Jaitley was effusive in his praise for the ongoing push for indigenisation by the Navy and urged the Commanders to continuously focus on building up indigenous know-how.
Before concluding his address the Defence Minister said that the government will provide the necessary impetus to overcome critical shortfalls in capabilities, like ship-borne Multi-Role Helicopters, anti-Mine Vessels and conventional Submarines, among others.
He said the government would soon come up with the necessary defence procurement policies, like the soon-to-be-finalized Strategic Partnership model, that would lay the ground rules for future procurement, as well as support the 'Make in India' initiative.
It may be noted that at least three critical defence projects are awaiting the finalisation of the SP model so that they can go into production under the 'Make in India' scheme - the Navy's Project 75I submarines, the Naval Utility Helicopters, and IAF's urgent requirement for another combat aircraft to add to the 36 Rafale fighters.
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