Panaji, Mar 7 (IANS): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that the Indian Navy has strengthened the country's position as "Preferred Security Partner" in the Indian Ocean Region.
Rajnath Singh, who arrived in Goa on Monday afternoon, reviewed the operational capabilities of the navy during the Naval Commanders' Conference held aboard India's first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant.
He lauded the Navy for standing firm and protecting national interests with courage and dedication. "The Indian Navy has strengthened India's position as 'Preferred Security Partner' in the Indian Ocean Region," he said.
He described secured borders as the first requirement to ensure social and economic progress.
"Defence sector has emerged as a major demand creator, which has been boosting the economy and ensuring the country's development. In the next 5-10 years, orders worth over $100 billion are expected to be placed through the defence sector and it will become a major partner in the economic development of the country. Today, our defence sector is on the runway, soon when it takes off, it will transform the country's economy," he said.
Rajnath Singh also commended the Navy for being at the forefront of indigenisation and innovation through inductions of ships and submarines and development of niche technologies, in consonance with the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' vision.
The operational demonstrations witnessed by the Defence Minister included complex aircraft carrier and fleet operations, weapon firing by ships and aircraft, and underway replenishment at sea.