New Delhi, Jul 1: Army Chief Gen Upendra Dwivedi on Monday said the Army is ready and capable to face all "current and future" security challenges facing India and that he would focus on continuing to equip the force with the latest weapons and technology.

A day after he assumed charge of the 1.3 million-strong force, Gen Dwivedi said the Army is facing "unique operational challenges" and that the geo-political landscape is changing rapidly with technology evolving at a "very fast pace".

The Army chief's remarks came amid India's dragging border conflict with China in eastern Ladakh and the challenge of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.

"I am fully conscious of the responsibility assigned to me and I assure the country and fellow citizens that the Indian Army is fully capable and ready to face all current and future challenges," he told reporters after inspecting a guard of honour at the South Block in the Raisina hills.

The newly-appointed Army chief, with extensive operational expertise, also said that he will encourage induction of indigenously-built military hardware into the force to boost self-reliance in defence.

"The geo-political landscape is changing rapidly and technology is evolving at a very fast pace," he said.

"The Indian Army faces unique operational challenges and to remain prepared for such threats and distinctive requirements, it is crucial that we continuously equip our soldiers with state-of-the-art weapons and technology and continue to evolve our warfighting strategies," he added.

Gen Dwivedi, who assumed charge as the 30th Chief of the Indian Army on Sunday, said he would focus on ensuring that the Army is ready to operate in the "full spectrum of conflict".

"It will be my endeavour to ensure that the Indian Army is always ready to operate in the full spectrum of conflict, maintaining complete synergy with the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and other stakeholders," he said.

"This will ensure that India's interests are secured and we become a major pillar of nation building to achieve the vision of 'Viksit Bharat-2047'," Gen Dwivedi said.

The defence ministry is in the process of implementing the much-awaited theaterisation model under which it seeks to integrate the capabilities of the Army, Air Force and the Navy and optimally utilise their resources for wars and operations.

Gen Dwivedi said the Indian Army is on the "path to transformation" and it aspires to be 'Atmanirbhar' (self-reliant) in defence.

"To achieve this, we will encourage indigenous initiatives and induct maximum war systems and equipment that are manufactured in our country," he said.

The Army chief said it is a matter of immense pride for him to lead the force.

"This is a moment of immense pride and honour for me to be assigned the responsibility to lead the Indian Army," he said

"The glorious traditions of the Indian Army rest on the legacy of valour and sacrifice of our soldiers. On this occasion, I pay my solemn tributes to the bravehearts who made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty," he added.

The Army chief said he was fully committed to protect the interests of all the personnel in the force and to extend full support to ex-servicemen and their families.

"It will be my priority to ensure that the interests and welfare of all ranks and defence civilians of the Indian Army are looked after," he said.

"My responsibility towards veterans, 'veer naris' and their families is a sacred commitment and I assure this extended family, my full support," he said.

The Army chief briefly spoke to a group of religious leaders ahead of the ceremonial welcome at the South Block.

Gen Dwivedi was serving as the Vice Chief of the Army since February 19.

Before becoming the Vice Chief, he was serving as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command from 2022-2024.

An alumnus of Sainik School, Rewa (MP), Gen Dwivedi was commissioned into the regiment of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in 1984.

He has a unique distinction of balanced command as well as staff exposure across Northern, Eastern and Western theatres in varied operational environment.

In his long and distinguished career spanning nearly 40 years, he has served in a variety of command, staff, instructional and foreign appointments.

The command appointments of Gen Dwivedi include command of regiment (18 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles), Brigade (26 Sector Assam Rifles), Inspector General, Assam Rifles (East) and 9 Corps.

He has been decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and three GOC-in-C Commendation Cards. PTI