PM Modi on Friday explained the commissioning of India's 1st indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in the context of the critical Indo-Pacific region. Observing that security concerns in this region had been ignored for a long time, he highlighted that it has now become a major priority for India. Explaining the steps taken by the Centre for strengthening the Indian Navy, he stressed that this will open new doors of trade and prosperity not just for India but also for other countries of the world, especially our neighbouring countries.
"In the past, security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region and the Indian Ocean have long been ignored. But, today this area is a major defense priority of the country for us. That is why we are working in every direction, from increasing the budget for the Navy to increasing its capability. Whether it is off-shore patrol vessels, submarines, or aircraft carriers, the strength of the Navy is growing at an unprecedented pace. In the coming time, our Navy will become stronger. With better monitoring and protection, our export, maritime trade and maritime production will increase," PM Modi asserted.
INS Vikrant is an example of Government's thrust to making India's defence sector self-reliant. https://t.co/97GkAzZ3sk— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 2, 2022
Considering the growing share of world trade and investment in this region which is home to 6 G20 countries- Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea, the Indo-Pacific is of critical importance. The role of China which is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in the South China Sea and is reportedly responsible for 95% of illegal fishing activities in the region as a whole has come under scrutiny. To counter its aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific, India, Australia, the US and Japan formed the 'Quad' coalition in 2017.
These nations are committed to promoting a free and open rules-based order rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity and counter threats to the Indo-Pacific and beyond. After meeting US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the last Quad Summit in May this year, PM Modi said, "India and US partnership in the true sense is a partnership of trust. Our common interests and values have strengthened this bond of trust between our two countries. We share similar views on Indo-Pacific, at the bilateral level as well as with like-minded countries to work to protect our common concerns".
In this context, INS Vikrant's induction into the Indian Navy strengthens the country's interests in the Indo-Pacific. If a scenario of conflict arises, it can play a crucial role owing to its capacity to accommodate 30 aircraft on road. Initially, MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31 helicopters, and MH-60R multi-role helicopters will be deployed on the carrier. The commissioning of INS Vikrant also serves as a deterrent to China which launched its third aircraft carrier Fujian on June 17 this year.