Modernisation of Armed Forces top priority: Rajnath Singh

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New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said modernisation of the Armed forces is the top priority of the government to enhance the defence capability and preparedness of the country.

Singh visited Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in Hyderabad today on the occasion of Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Defence PSU. Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Singh said Indigenization will be encouraged to the maximum possible extent and defence equipment will be imported only when it cannot be manufactured indigenously.

The Defence Minister added that the defence sector will play a key role in making the country a 5-trillion economy through FDI and offset investments in manufacturing. He hoped that defence exports will reach a significant level by 2025.

He said BDL is an important defence organisation and with organizations like DRDO, ISRO,   BDL has enhanced the prestige of the country through its achievements.  Rajnath Singh appreciated BDL for manufacturing more than one lakh missiles in the last 50 years.

The Union Minister said in the new world many countries have developed counter to missile technology by developing Air Defence Systems and gave a call for the development of Hypersonic Missiles technology to enhance defence capabilities of the Armed Forces. He reiterated that defence policy of the country is for peace and stability at the regional, continental and global level.

He unveiled a statue of former President and Bharat Ratna Dr A P J Abdul Kalam to commemorate his legendary vision. The brainchild of Dr Kalam, Integrated Guided Missile Development (IGMD) Programme that was launched during the late 80s, gave BDL plenty of opportunities to develop its skilled manpower and invest in high-end technology areas to manufacture the missiles contemplated under this Programme.

The Raksha Mantri also visited the state-of-the-art production facilities at Kanchanbagh Unit of the Company.  He also released a commemorative stamp on BDL on the occasion.

He handed over Medium-Range Surface-to-Air-Missile (MR SAM) to Indian Air Force in the function. Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal R K S Bhadauria received MR SAM on behalf of the IAF.

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