Murtaza Kidwai

New Delhi…, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on the occasion of the launch of the Advanced Technology Vehicle, India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine-

“I am honoured to be present here today on the occasion of the launch of India’s first indigenous nuclear powered submarine.

I congratulate the ATV Programme and all personnel associated with it for achieving a historic milestone in the country’s defence preparedness. Today’s launch is a reflection of the immense technical expertise that exists in our country and the strength of our research and development organisations. More importantly, the launch represents the determination and patriotism of our technologists, scientists and defence personnel who have overcome several hurdles and barriers to enable the country to acquire self-reliance in the most advanced areas of defence technology.

The construction of a submarine is a highly demanding task by itself. For the country to develop its first nuclear submarine is a special achievement. Today we join a select group of five nations who possess the capability to build a nuclear powered submarine.

I am particularly glad that this submarine is the outcome of a productive public-private partnership. Private industry in India has evolved considerably during the last few decades and we should leverage its strengths to achieve our defence goals. I would also like to express our appreciation to our Russian friends for their consistent and invaluable cooperation, which symbolizes the close strategic partnership that we enjoy with Russia.

The sea is increasingly becoming relevant in the context of India’s security interests and we must re-adjust our military preparedness to this changing environment. Our Navy has a huge responsibility in this regard.

The Government is fully committed to ensuring the defence of our national interests and the protection of our territorial integrity. We will continue to render all support to the constant modernization of our armed forces and to ensuring that they remain at the cutting edge of technology.

We do not have any aggressive designs nor do we seek to threaten anyone. We seek an external environment in our region and beyond that is conducive to our peaceful development and the protection of our value systems. Nevertheless it is incumbent upon us to take all measures necessary to safeguard our country and to keep pace with technological advancements worldwide. It has rightly been said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

The years of hard work, dedication and perseverance that have gone into today’s launch are an example worthy of emulation. They show that no task is difficult and that there is no greater power than the power of self-belief. I am confident that the lessons learnt from this launch will enable the ATV Programme to achieve even better results in the coming years.

With these few words, I once again congratulate all the organisations and personnel who have been involved in the ATV Programme and on behalf of the country, wish them continued success in the future.”


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