On board INS Vikramaditya: In the backdrop of Pakistan’s repeated talk about nuclear war, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Sunday that Indian Navy’s ‘second strike capability’ as a nuclear deterrent is ‘most significant’.
‘Second strike capability’ is an assured capability of Indian Armed Forces to respond to a nuclear attack with its own nuclear weapons.
Rajnath Singh was addressing Navy personnel on aircraft carrier ‘INS Vikramaditya’. “I am aware that after the Pulwama attack, when the country responded effectively through strikes on terror camps in Balakot, the Western Fleet was immediately deployed in a strong posture in the northern Arabian Sea,” said Singh.
“This degraded the ability of our adversary to deploy and ensured they did not attempt any misadventure at sea. In this context, the role of Indian Navy to have a credible ‘second strike’ capability as a nuclear deterrent, is most significant,” added Rajnath Singh.
The Defence Minister’s remarks come just days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly, drummed up hysteria over nuclear war while targeting India over Kashmir.
India had hit back saying the ‘threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship, not statesmanship’.
Rajnath Singh said Indian Navy’s role is critical in ensuring the energy security and economic growth of the country and noted that about 90 per cent of India’s international trade by volume and about 70 per cent by value is carried by sea.
“As we move towards our goal of five trillion dollar economy, the volume of maritime trade will only grow in times to come. Thus, I firmly believe that the role of the Indian Navy in general and the Western Fleet in particular is also critical in ensuring the energy security and economic growth of the country,” Singh pointed out.
INS Vikramaditya is currently travelling in Arabian sea somewhere near Goa. During his overnight stay on the ‘INS Vikramaditya’, Singh witnessed various military exercises involving submarines, frigates and the carrier.
The minister said that the government would like that Indian Navy to be known across the world as ‘blue water navy’. A blue water navy is capable in operating globally, even in deep ocean waters far away from any coastline.
The minister’s address at INS Vikramaditya was relayed through radio to Navy personnel of 21 ships, which were surrounding the aircraft carrier in Arabian Sea.