New Delhi: Indian Army on Wednesday condoled the death of Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat who was killed after a military helicopter in which he was travelling with 13 others crashed in Tamil Nadu today.

General MM Naravane and all ranks of the Indian Army express their deepest grief and sorrow over the untimely demise of General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff his wife Madhulika Rawat, President DWWA (Defence Wives Welfare Association) and 11 other military personnel in an unfortunate air accident today, the Army said in a statement.

"General Bipin Rawat, India's first CDS, was a visionary who initiated far-reaching reforms in the Indian military's higher defence organisation. He was instrumental in creating the foundation of India's joint theatre commands and giving impetus to the increased indigenisation of military equipment, a legacy which will be carried on and strengthened by successive generations," it said.

The statement also said that Madhulika Rawat, also the former President AWWA (Army Wives Welfare Association) was an 'epitome of grace' whose presence will be missed by everyone.

"The deceased 11 military personnel accompanying the CDS and President DWWA on the way to Wellington will also be equally missed by everyone. They performed their duties as per the best traditions of the Armed Forces," added the statement.