Government committed to modernising armed forces: President

February 12th, 2009 - 2:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilNew Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Saluting India’s armed forces for “their sense of commitment, sacrifice and professionalism”, President Pratibha Patil Thursday said the government “stands committed” to provide financial support for their modernisation.
“Our armed forces have made the country proud with their sense of commitment, sacrifice and professionalism. They have time and again come to the aid of civil authority in natural disasters, as well as to combat insurgency in affected areas,” she said in her address while opening the last session of parliament before general elections later this year.

Noting that India’s long borders “make it imperative to keep the armed forces in a state of full preparedness to face diverse challenges at all times, the president said: “The modernisation programme of the Armed Forces is focussed on state-of-the-art technology, network centric warfare, and includes an integrated space cell to deal with the challenges posed by the militarization of space.

“Government stands committed to give financial support for modernisation to the required extent,” Patil added.

She also singled out the Indian Navy’s efforts to deal with piracy in the Gulf of Aden and to secure the sea-lanes of communication, saying this had “demonstrated our capacity and willingness to protect our interests”.

Turning to research and development efforts in the area of defence technology, the president said these had showed “concrete results” through launches of the Agni-I, Agni-III and other missiles, while the main battle tank Arjun was productionised.

“Defence procurement procedures were continually reviewed and updated to ensure maximum transparency, economy of resources and support for our indigenisation efforts,” Patil pointed out.

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