Safety, security of India is Government’s top priority: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses addressing a conclave organised to commemorate 60 years of Chetak helicopter’s service to the Nation in Hyderabad on April 2, 2022. (Photo/PIB)

Hyderabad: Safety and security of the country is Government’s top priority and all efforts are being made to safeguard its unity and integrity,” said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh while addressing a conclave organised to commemorate 60 years of Chetak helicopter’s service to the Nation.

The conclave was organised by the Indian Air Force at Air Force Station, Hakimpet in here on April 02, 2022.

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhuri, senior retired & serving officers of the helicopter stream from the three services and officials of Ministry of Defence, Indian Coast Guard & Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were present on the occasion.

Comparing ‘Chetak’ named horse of Rajput king Rana Pratap, Rajnath described ‘Chetak’ helicopter as not just a machine, but a vibrant & dedicated entity, which has been continuously engaged in the service of the nation for the last six decades and has set an example for others.

He noted that nearly 700 Chetaks manufactured so far have served the nation in war and peace with full dedication, describing its multi-service employment as a shining example of jointness.

Elaborating on the capabilities of the helicopter, the Defence Minister said, “’Chetak’ has proved its mettle in the battlefield by targeting enemies with accuracy and successfully landing troops.

“It has also helped in delivering essential logistics. It has saved precious lives through its evacuation efforts in case of emergency. It has provided important information whenever needed, which has helped in decision making and paving way for victory in wars. ‘Chetak’ has always been at the forefront in providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief during natural calamities. This is the first time a platform has reached this stage.”

He appreciated the fact that ‘Chetak’, through adaptation, modification and upgradation, remains a frontline platform even after 60 years of its creation.

Rajnath Singh also recalled the extraordinary contribution of the Chetak helicopter during the 1971 war.

He was of the view that India has shown its strength in the design, development and operation of helicopters in the five-tonne category, terming the indigenously designed and developed Advanced Light Helicopter DHRUV and its variants as examples of India’s prowess.

He stressed on the need to march forward in the design and development of the 10-tonne Indian Multirole Helicopter which, he said, is a significant requirement for the Armed forces and has a huge market potential.

He called to fast-track the design and development of helicopter technology in the country, terming it is one of the dual-use technologies which will not only prove to be effective in the defence sector, but will make India a dominant force in the helicopter market.

The Minister reiterated the Government’s resolve of achieving ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence production and preparedness, in view of the constantly changing global security scenario.

Rajnath Singh, however, maintained that by being strong, India does not mean to establish dominance in the world. The Raksha Mantri spoke on the major role domestic industry can play in achieving ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Press Release)

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