The Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while addressing the bi-annual Naval Commanders' Conference on 08 May 2018 commended the men and women of Indian Navy for their professionalism and dedication in performing the duties of safeguarding the maritime interest of the nation. The RM further said, “I firmly believe that as a nation we cannot be truly self-reliant until we are able to develop our own weapons and sensors. Indian Navy's active role in engaging with a wide range of R&D and production agencies Government, Semi Government and private is indicative of its commitment. The RM also complimented Tata Power (Strategic Engineering Division) for developing the Combat Management System (CMS) of India's first indigenous aircraft carrier. CMS brings together inputs from all the Ships Sensors Radars, Sonar and others and fuses them into a coherent battlefield picture of threats. It controls the on-board weapons, and presents with the options available to counter the threats.
Stressing on indigenisation and self-reliance, the Raksha Mantri said, “I am happy to note that shipbuilding projects worth over Rs. 32,000 crore have been tendered and are progressing towards contract conclusion. Projects worth Rs. 760 crore for construction of yard crafts are also being targeted for early conclusion through private and small shipyards, to bolster the 'Make in India' initiative and provide the necessary impetus to the Indian Shipbuilding Industry. With other shipbuilding projects covering a vast spectrum of weapon intensive platforms, Mine Counter Measure Vessels (MCMVs), Fleet Support Ships and Diving Support Vessels on the anvil, I am sure our Indigenous Shipbuilding Industry would rise to the occasion and keep pace with the Indian Navy's planned modernisation program.”
Taking note of the critical capability shortfalls that the Navy is facing today in ship-borne multi-role helicopters, reconnaissance aircraft, unmanned platforms, conventional submarines and surface ships which need urgent redressal to maintain the combat edge of the Navy, she assured the Commanders that these issues are being given due impetus at the MoD and measures are being put in place to mitigate these shortcomings at the earliest.