SPEAKING at the inauguration of Aero India 2021, after formally sealing a Rs 48,000 crore deal to procure 83 Tejas light combat aircraft, in what the government has described as the ‘biggest’ Make in India defence contract, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday asserted that India was vigilant and capable of handling any challenge.
“India faces threats and challenges emanating from multiple fronts,” Singh said, mentioning “state-sponsored and state-inflicted terrorism”. “We have long witnessed unfortunate attempts to employ force to change status quo along our unresolved borders. India is vigilant and prepared to counter and defeat any misadventure to defend our people and territorial integrity at all costs,” he said, adding Aero India will showcase the country’s “commitment” to growing defence capabilities.
The Defence Minister began his speech with a mention of the Tejas deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, saying, “India’s growing strength and capabilities in aerospace and defence sector are now being realised by everyone.”
Singh also mentioned the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Defence Minister’s Conclave, “themed on enhanced peace, security and cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region”, and said that Aero India “provides an opportunity to discuss our security environment”.