Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that country’s safety and security is top priority and all efforts are being made to safeguard its unity and integrity, Addressing a conclave organised to commemorate 60 years of Chetak helicopter’s service to the Nation organised by the Indian Air Force at Air Force Station, Hakimpet, here, Mr Rajnath Singh described the conclave as a fitting tribute to those who have served the Nation with hard work and dedication. Paying his respects to this invaluable contribution, he said, “Whenever a country fights a war for the safety and security, it is not just the Armed Forces who take part. The whole nation fights that war. The scientists, engineers and technicians of organisations like HAL, who develop helicopters like ‘Chetak’ and other platforms, play an equally important role as our soldiers. Lakhs of employees and workers associated with MSMEs also contribute by supplying parts to these projects.
This conclave celebrates the hard work and dedication of all of them”. Comparing ‘Chetak’ named horse of Rajput king Rana Pratap, Mr Rajnath Singh 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 Raksha Mantri 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.