Addition of Utility Helicopters will multiply the operational readiness of the Indian Navy (Image courtesy: Indian Navy)
The Indian Navy today showcased its latest state-of-art indigenously built combat platforms during the 12th edition of the President's Fleet Review held at Visakhapatnam.
After a 21-Gun Salute and the Ceremonial Guard of Honour, President Ram Nath Kovind, also the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of India, embarked on the Presidential yacht, INS Sumitra, an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel.
The President was received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar as the yacht sailed past 44 ships from the Navy, Coast Guard, SCI and MoES lined up in four columns at anchorage off Visakhapatnam, exhibiting the nation's maritime power in full display.
A spectacular flypast was conducted as a part of the static review of the Fleet with the President witnessing demonstrations by 55 aircrafts including Chetaks, ALH, Sea Kings, KAMOVs, Dorniers, IL-38SD, P8I, Hawks and MiG 29K.
During the final stage of the review, a mobile column of warships and submarines carried out high-speed steam past alongside the Presidential yacht. Several enthralling waterfront activities by Parade of Sails, Search and Rescue Demonstration at Sea, Aerobatics by Hawk aircraft and Water Para Jumps by the elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS) held the guests mesmerised.
As the presidential yacht passed between the review columns, each ship dressed in full regalia, manned by her ship's company saluted the President with traditional 'Three Jais' in a demonstration of the unconditional allegiance to the country and the Supreme Commander.
Addressing the Fleet during the Review, President Kovind said that the Indian Navy's constant vigil, prompt response to incidents and untiring efforts have been highly successful in ensuring safety of the seas and of the maritime commons which are critical to India's trade and energy needs.
The President expressed his happiness at the Indian Navy becoming increasingly self-reliant and being at the forefront of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. He noted that about 70 per cent of the contents of several warships and submarines under construction in various public and private shipyards across the country are indigenous.
Kovind said that it is a matter of great pride that India has built nuclear submarines and would soon have its own indigenously built aircraft carrier, ‘Vikrant’, joining the service. He added that the development of indigenous naval shipbuilding capabilities is an impressive contribution to the making of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
The Review, which was also conducted as part of the 75th anniversary of India's Independence being celebrated as 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', was followed by the release of a special First Day Cover and a commemorative stamp.
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