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GUIDED MIS­SILE DE­STROYER INS CHEN­NAI JOINS THE IN­DIAN NAVY

INS Chen­nai, a P-15A guided mis­sile de­stroyer, was com­mis­sioned into the In­dian Navy by the De­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar at an im­pres­sive cer­e­mony held at the Naval Dock­yard in Mum­bai on Novem­ber 21. The event marks the for­mal in­duc­tion into the In­dian Navy of the third and the last of the three Kolkata class de­stroy­ers, in­dige­nously de­signed by the In­dian NavyÕs in-house or­gan­i­sa­tion, Direc­torate of Naval De­sign and con­structed by the Mazagon Dock Lim­ited, Mum­bai. The De­fence Min­is­ter, whilst ad­dress­ing the gath­er­ing, termed the com­mis­sion­ing of INS Chen­nai, as a his­toric day for the In­dian Navy as it adds another mile­stone in our re­lent­less jour­ney to­wards achiev­ing self-re­liance in bat­tle readi­ness. Dur­ing his ad­dress, Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral Su­nil Lanba said that com­mis­sion­ing of INS Chen­nai marks another mile­stone in the Navy’s quest for self-re­liance as it sig­ni­fies com­ple­tion of the chal­leng­ing Pro­ject P-15A and her­alds a new era of ad­vanced war­ships built in­dige­nously by In­dian ship­yards.

IN­DIAN NAVY INDUCTS IN­DIGE­NOUSLY DE­VEL­OPED SONARS

The De­fence Min­is­ter Manohar Par­rikar handed over four naval sys­tems de­vel­oped by the De­fence Re­search and Devel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) to the In­dian Navy at a spe­cial cer­e­mony in New Delhi on Novem­ber 18, 2016. The four in­dige­nously de­vel­oped naval sys­tems, viz. Ab­hay, Humsa UG, NACS and AIDSS, which will boost un­der­wa­ter sur­veil­lance ca­pa­bil­ity of the In­dian Navy, were for­mally handed over to the Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral Su­nil Lanba by the Min­is­ter.

Par­rikar com­pli­mented the DRDO and the Navy for their suc­cess­ful joint ven­ture in de­vel­op­ing sev­eral naval sys­tems, which will pro­vide a fil­lip to the quest for self-re­liance in this crit­i­cal area of tech­nol­ogy. ÒI ex­pect much more syn­ergy be­tween the armed forces and DRDO in the days to come,Óhe said. He ex­pressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion to DRDO for its achieve­ments in the last two years par­tic­u­larly in the in­duc­tion of LCA Te­jas, Varunas­tra tor­pedo, Pi­naka multi-bar­rel rocket launcher, Rus­tom-II UAV and sev­eral mis­sile pro­grammes.

CNS AD­MI­RAL SU­NIL LANBA VIS­ITS SRI LANKA

Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral Su­nil Lanba vis­ited Sri Lanka, Novem­ber 27 to De­cem­ber 1, 2016. The visit was in­tended to con­sol­i­date and en­hance the bi­lat­eral mar­itime re­la­tions be­tween In­dia and Sri Lanka. Dur­ing his visit, the CNS held bi­lat­eral dis­cus­sions with His Ex­cel­lency Maithri­pala Sirisena, Pres­i­dent of Sri Lanka Ranil Wick­remesinghe, Prime Min­is­ter of Sri Lanka and var­i­ous se­nior civil­ian and de­fence dig­ni­taries. The Ad­mi­ral also at­tended the Galle Di­a­logue which was held at Colombo. The Galle Di­a­logue is an an­nual con­fer­ence hosted by Sri Lanka on the is­sues of Mar­itime Se­cu­rity and Co­op­er­a­tion be­tween international navies in which about 39 coun­tries and 13 international or­gan­i­sa­tions par­tic­i­pated. The CNS also de­liv­ered a key­note ad­dress on ÔIn­di­aÕs Per­spec­tive on the Ben­e­fits of Strate­gic Mar­itime Part­ner­shipsÕ, dur­ing the event. He also laid a wreath at the IPKF me­mo­rial which has been built by Sri Lanka to hon­our In­dian mar­tyrs.

VIS­ITS OF IN­DIAN NAVAL SHIPS

First Train­ing Squadron vis­its Chit­tagong. INS Tir and Su­jata, along with In­dian Coast Guard ship Varuna, vis­ited Chit­tagong, Bangladesh, from Novem­ber 11-15, 2016, as part of their Over­seas De­ploy­ment dur­ing Au­tumn Term 16. In­dia and Bangladesh have a close, long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship cov­er­ing a wide spec­trum of ac­tiv­i­ties and in­ter­ac­tions, which has strength­ened over the years.

INS Su­mi­tra vis­its Auck­land, New Zealand, for International Naval Re­view 2016. In pur­suit of In­di­aÕs ÔAct EastÕpol­icy, the In­dian NavyÕs OPV Su­mi­tra vis­ited Auck­land from Novem­ber 16-22, 2016. The ship would also rep­re­sent the In­dian Navy at the Royal New Zealand Navy International Naval Re­view 2016.

INS Shardul vis­its Port Vic­to­ria. In a demon­stra­tion of In­di­aÕs com­mit­ment to its ties with Seychelles and to pro­mote mar­itime se­cu­rity in the In­dian Ocean re­gion, INS Shardul ar­rived at Port Vic­to­ria on Novem­ber 23 for a three-day visit. INS Shardul, an am­phibi­ous ship, is cur­rently on a month-long de­ploy­ment in the south­ern In­dian Ocean in keep­ing with the vi­sion of Se­cu­rity and Growth for All in the Re­gion (SAGAR).

LCU 57 LAUNCHED AT GRSE, KOLKATA

The sev­enth ship of LCU MK IV pro­ject was launched on Novem­ber 24, 2016, at the Gar­den Reach Ship­builders and En­gi­neers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata. The chief guest, Dr Sub­hash Ra­ma­rao Bhamre, Rak­sha Ra­jya Mantri, along with Vice Ad­mi­ral D.M. Desh­pande, Con­troller of War­ship Pro­duc­tion and Ac­qui­si­tion (CWP&A), Chair­man & Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of GRSE and vari- ous other dig­ni­taries were present for the launch cer­e­mony.

Rear Ad­mi­ral A.K. Verma (Retd), Chair­man & Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of GRSE, com­menced the pro­ceed­ings with a for­mal wel­come, which was fol­lowed by an ad­dress by the chief guest. LCU L-57 is the sev­enth ves­sel in the se­ries of eight land­ing craft util­ity ships be­ing de­signed and built by GRSE for the In­dian Navy. The ship can be de­ployed for multi-role ac­tiv­i­ties like beach­ing oper­a­tions, hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance and dis­as­ter re­lief oper­a­tions and evac­u­a­tion from dis­tant is­lands.

EX­ER­CISE KONKAN 16 BE­GINS

Konkan 16, the 2016 edi­tion of the an­nual bi­lat­eral mar­itime ex­er­cise be­tween the In­dian Navy and the Royal Navy, would be held from De­cem­ber 5-16, 2016, at Mum­bai and Goa. The ex­er­cise will be con­ducted in two phases at Mum­bai and Goa. The first phase, to be held from De­cem­ber 5-9, 2016, would be a Com­mand Plan­ning ex­er­cise in­volv­ing the two navies, where plan­ners from both sides will un­der­take plan­ning for com­bined mar­itime oper­a­tions. The sec­ond phase is a Live Ex­er­cise (LIVEX), to be held from De­cem­ber 12-16, 2016 at Goa, which in­volves in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the In­dian Navy Marine Com­man­dos (MAR­COs) and the Royal Marines. Both phases will in­volve shar­ing of best prac­tices and lessons learnt from re­cent oper­a­tions, espe­cially in the field of Hu­man­i­tar­ian As­sis­tance and Dis­as­ter Re­lief (HADR) and Non-com­bat­ant Evac­u­a­tion Oper­a­tions (NEO).

This co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two navies is a pos­i­tive and tan­gi­ble sym­bol of com­mit­ment in en­sur­ing a pos­i­tive cli­mate for mar­itime se­cu­rity and eco­nomic devel­op­ment. The cur­rent edi­tion would fur­ther strengthen the ex­ist­ing bonds of friend­ship be­tween In­dia and the United King­dom, and en­hance their ca­pa­bil­ity to work to­gether to con­trib­ute to­wards mar­itime se­cu­rity in the global com­mons.

INS BETWA SLIPS ON ITS KEEL

On De­cem­ber 5, 2016, while un­dock­ing from the Cruiser Grav­ing Dock (CGD) at Naval Dock­yard, Mum­bai. INS Betwa (F39) listed over by 90 de­grees to its Port (left) side and slipped from dock block which are specif­i­cally fit­ted out to en­sure ship’s cen­tre of grav­ity. INS Betwa, a Brahma­pu­tra class Guided Mis­sile Frigate was com­mis­sioned into In­dian Navy on July 4, 2004 and com­menced her Medium Re­fit ( MR) at Naval Dock­yard, Mum­bai in April 2016 and was docked in the CGD for sur­vey and es­sen­tial re­pairs to the un­der­wa­ter part of the ship. It is on the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of this phase of the MR that the ship was be­ing un­docked from CGD. In this process the ship met with a very un­usual kind of ac­ci­dent, killing two sailors and in­jur­ing another 22. The shipÕs main mast has been ex­ten­sively dam­aged.

While the manda­tory fact find­ing Board of In­quiry, headed by a se­nior Flag Of­fi­cer has been con­sti­tuted, the Navy’s top brass is cur­rently en­gaged in plan­ning the sal­vage op­er­a­tion for Betwa. In­dian Navy is de­ter­mined to make Betwa up­right and fully op­er­a­tional, post MR to join the fleet as soon as pos­si­ble.

Ad­mi­ral Su­nil Lanba, Chief of the Naval has vis­ited CGD at Naval Dock­yard, Mum­bai where INS Betwa lies tipped over to her Port side for a first hand on-site in­spec­tion to learn of the ex­tent of dam­age. Af­ter tak­ing stock of the sit­u­a­tion, he de­clared, ÒThe Navy will up­right the ship and make her op­er­a­tional in the short­est pos­si­ble time.Ó

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