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Rajnath Singh reviews Project Seabird progress; Indigenous aircraft carrier by next year

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he wants the Karwar base to be the largest naval base in Asia and, if needed, the budget would be enhanced.

Rajnath Singh reviews Project Seabird progress; Indigenous aircraft carrier by next year-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Jun 24, 2021, 7:11 PM IST
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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday reviewed the ongoing infrastructure development at the Karwar naval base in Karnataka during which he said that he wants the base to be the largest naval base in Asia and, if needed, the budget would be enhanced. 

Addressing the Indian Navy personnel, Rajnath Singh said, "I believe the country's trade, economy and HADR programmes would get strengthened once the project completed. In the coming days, this base would be the largest naval base in Asia and there is a need to increase the fund, we will do that."

The infrastructure development at the Karwar naval base -- codenamed Project Seabird -- is a Rs 19,000 core project spread over 11,000 acres of land. The first phase of the naval base was completed in 2005. In the second phase, work on which started in 2011, a 3,000 feet long runway and docking space for 30 warships and hangars for aircraft are being constructed.

Earlier in the day, along with Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh conducted an aerial survey of the project. 

"I am told that sealift facility has been finalised. This is the first one in the country." 

Stating that the government has undertaken major reforms in the defence sector, the minister said, "We have initiated a step in bringing jointness among the armed forces. For this, we have the guidance of our prime minister. We want our naval force's capacity and capability to be further strengthened and its coordination with other Services to be increased."

Talking about INS Vikrant, the aircraft carrier being indigenously built by the Cochin Shipyard, he said, "The carrier will be commissioned into the Indian Navy when the country celebrates its 75th year of independence." 

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