Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday asserted that the security of the nation is the top priority of the force which is fully committed to ensuring it.
Speaking at the Diamond Jubilee conclave of Chetak Helicopters in Hyderabad, Singh also mentioned that the government has emphasized on self-reliance in defense production and preparedness.
"I assure the countrymen that the security of the nation is our top priority and we are fully committed to ensuring it. Looking at the events of the last few years, our government has emphasized on self-reliance in defense production, and preparedness. These days we have seen many challenges in ensuring supply lines," he said.
The Minister further said "the burden of protecting a huge country like India cannot remain on the shoulders of other countries for long" and that "we have to strengthen our own shoulders to protect ourselves".
"If peace is to be maintained in the world, then the security of the nations is of utmost importance, and for their security, it is very necessary to be strong militarily," the Defence Minister marked.
Singh emphasized that the central government created such an environment in the last few years that forces, scientists, and defense makers can think "pro-actively".
"We are getting huge positive responses from our services, research and development organizations, and public and private sector industries. Our MSMEs, start-ups, innovators, and academia together are exploring new avenues of defense production," said the Defense Minister.
The Minister mentioned that India has shown its strength in the design, development, and operation of helicopters in the five-ton category on Saturday.
"Indigenously designed and developed, Advanced Light Helicopter -DHRUV, and its variants are examples of India's strength in this category of helicopters," said the Defense Minister.
"To become a global leader we need to progress in the design of our own 10 Ton Indian Multirole Helicopter. It has huge market potential on one hand, and on the other hand, it is also a significant requirement for our own forces."
According to an estimate, Singh said there is a demand for more than one thousand civilian helicopters in India, and an equal number of helicopters in the military sector.
"This is a huge potential in the helicopter market, which we should proceed to exploit," added the Defense Minister.
Noting that we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Institutions, celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Organizations, the Minister said celebrating the diamond jubilee of a helicopter by our Air Force is a sign of our respect for this helicopter.
"Chetak is one of the longest-serving platforms in our defense forces. On the battlefield, it has targeted the enemies for its accurate firing. It is capable of landing its troops on the battlefield. It has also helped in delivering essential logistics. It has also saved precious lives by evacuation in case of emergency," Singh said.
"Our country has faced many natural calamities from time to time. Even among them, our Chetak has always been ahead in humanitarian aid, and disaster relief work. Chetak has touched the hearts of people. Our country will always be grateful to this machine and the professionals who operate it," said the Defense Minister.
Singh mentioned that India has recently celebrated the 'Golden Jubilee' of the 'Mukti Struggle' of 1971".
"This war will be recorded in golden letters in the pages of history. Not because of its scale, but because of its character. The main objective behind this war was to protect the dignity of 'humanity' and 'democracy'," said the Defence Minister.
He said that Chetak was one of the machines and platforms that were at the forefront of helping Indian forces in this "Mukti Struggle" from day one. "Our air warriors on board have performed phenomenally in this war," said Singh.
"Chetak is one of the leading design and development projects in our country. Its success gave us the confidence that in the future also we can be successful in such projects. So far, about 700 Chetak helicopters have been produced in our country," said the Defense Minister.