Mumbai, Apr.29 (ANI): Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday called upon the Indian Industry to give their best in developing the country's ship building programmes.
Speaking after commissioning INS Shivalik, the first of three new indigenous stealth frigates here, Antony said over the years there has been a distinct shift in country's policy from a "Buyer's Navy' to a 'Builder's Navy".
He stressed that the ship building industry has to modernize itself through indigenous efforts and minimize its dependence on imports.
"We must continue with our efforts to transform and modernize our shipyards, so that they can not only meet the domestic demands but also achieve latest international standards in quality construction. We must be able to produce quality ships in a shorter time frame at competitive costs. I strongly urge all the participants of the Indian industry to give their best in developing our ship building programmes," Antony said.
He pointed out that the security situation in and around India's immediate neighbourhood poses several security related challenges, adding there is a need to maintain high levels of operational readiness at all times.
Described the commissioning of INS Shivalik, the largest stealth frigate in the world, as a red letter day for the Indian Navy, Armed Forces, the ship building industry and the entire nation, Antony said India's long coastline and ever expanding exclusive economic zone make it imperative to defend main land as well as maintain the sea lanes of communication.
INS Shivalik and the follow-on-ships of the Shivalik class (namely, Satpura and Sahyadiri) have been conceived and designed by Indian Navy design teams. The Shivalik class will be the mainstay frigates of the Indian Navy in the first half of the 21st century. (ANI)