The Sec­ond In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­view

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - [ By Ran­jeet Ku­mar ]

The com­mis­sion­ing of In­dia’s first in­dige­nously con­structed nu­clear pow­ered sub­ma­rine INS Ari­hant will per­haps be the high­light of the pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional event, the In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­view (IFR), of the In­dian Navy. The re­view to be held in the first week of Fe­bru­ary at Visakha­p­at­nam next year will at­tract more than 50 navies of the world, which would in­clude the navies of the United States, China, Ja­pan, Gulf coun­tries and other lit­toral states of the In­dian Ocean. But one sig­nif­i­cant omis­sion will be Pak­istan, which was ex­tended an in­vi­ta­tion, but the Pak­istani naval head­quar­ters did not re­spond.

Re­gard­ing the com­mis­sion­ing of the INS Ari­hant, the Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral R.K. Dhowan, dur­ing the me­dia brief­ing of the IFR-2016 to be held from Fe­bru­ary 4-8, 2016, was non-com­mit­tal. He nei­ther con­firmed nor de­nied the pos­si­bil­ity of the Ari­hant be­ing com­mis­sioned by the Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi dur­ing the show. But knowl­edge­able sources are sure of the com­mis­sion­ing of the INS Ari­hant dur­ing this high-pro­file in­ter­na­tional con­gre­ga­tion of the top navies of the world. Sources said that the sea tri­als of INS Ari­hant are al­most over and the ship was wait­ing for a com­mis­sion­ing date from the Prime Min­is­ter. Sources said that the In­dian Navy found the oc­ca­sion of IFR as ex­tremely ap­pro­pri­ate. The oc­ca­sion has been cho­sen to high­light the en­try of In­dian Navy in nu­clear age. This will form the part of the In­dian mil­i­tary’s nu­clear triad and show­case the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of In­dian Navy. In­dian Navy has al­ready been en­dowed with the nu­clear sub­ma­rine INS Chakra, ob­tained on 10-year lease from Rus­sia, but this ship is not equipped with nu­clear tipped mis­siles. The IFR-2016 will con­vey the mes­sage to the world that In­dian Navy has an in­dige­nous nu­clear sub­ma­rine pro­gramme and is ready to rule the high seas from the In­dian Ocean to Pa­cific Ocean.

The Pres­i­dent of In­dia Pranab Mukher­jee will re­view the naval pa­rade. Ac­cord­ing to the Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral R.K. Dhowan, “The In­dian Navy to­day is widely ac­knowl­edged as a pro­fes­sional three-di­men­sional mar­itime force. The host­ing of the In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­view by the In­dian Navy in Fe­bru­ary 2016 can be seen in this light, as a sig­nif­i­cant event in the na­tion’s mar­itime history.”

In­dian Navy has or­gan­ised fleet re­views 10 times ear­lier and this would be the 11th one. How­ever, this would be In­dian Navy’s sec­ond In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­view, the first was held in 2001.

Ac­cord­ing to the Naval Chief Ad­mi­ral Dhowan, “While show­cas­ing our navy to the na­tion and the Supreme Com­man­der of the Armed Forces, the Hon­ourable Pres­i­dent of In­dia, we also cel­e­brate the time-hon­oured prin­ci­ples of friend­ship across the seas, which are in­trin­sic to the sea­far­ing com­mu­nity.”

The mar­itime events like the In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­view are or­gan­ised by lead­ing navies of the world and In­dian Navy also par­tic­i­pates in them by send­ing lead­ing war­ships, which are made in In­dia. Re­cently In­dian Navy had par­tic­i­pated in the In­ter­na­tional Fleet Re­views or­gan­ised by the Ja­panese and the Chi­nese navies. The IFR serves to pro­vide a plat­form for par­tic­i­pat­ing navies to in­ter­act with each other, strengthen bridges of friend­ship to­wards de­vel­op­ing a com­mon ap­pre­ci­a­tion of mar­itime chal­lenges and the po­ten­tial for ad­dress­ing them through a united ap­proach, said Ad­mi­ral Dhowan.

In­dian Navy seeks to move ahead on the con­cept of the global mari- time fam­ily with the theme ‘United through Oceans.’ Over a pe­riod of time Fleet Re­views in In­dia have seen par­tic­i­pa­tion by ships, sub­marines and air­craft to em­pha­sise the three-di­men­sional na­ture of the In­dian Navy. Dur­ing IFR-2016 also In­dian Navy will pa­rade the two serv­ing air­craft car­ri­ers INS Vi­raat and INS Vikra­ma­ditya along with other lead­ing war­ships, re­con­nais­sance planes and naval fighter air­crafts.

The last fleet re­view was or­gan­ised on De­cem­ber 20, 2011. The first ever IFR held in 2001 saw large par­tic­i­pa­tion from In­dian and for­eign ships. The sec­ond IFR will be much larger in scale. Along with Pres­i­dent Mukher­jee and Prime Min­is­ter Modi, the Vice Pres­i­dent Hamid An­sari and De­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar will also grace the oc­ca­sion. The ex­trav­a­ganza planned for the IFR in­cludes an Oper­a­tions Demonstration (Op Demo) by the ma­jor com­bat­ants of the In­dian Navy, il­lu­mi­na­tion of an­chored ships off the Ra­makr­ishna Mis­sion Beach, a fly-past, an in­ter­na­tional City Pa­rade, an In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Con­fer­ence, sym­phonic band con­certs, etc. The Pres­i­dent of In­dia would re­view the Fleet in the morn­ing of Fe­bru­ary 6, INS Su­mi­tra, an in­dige­nously built naval off­shore pa­trol ves­sel would be the pres­i­den­tial yacht.

Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral R.K. Dhowan at the

cur­tain-raiser for IFR-16 held in New Delhi

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