President Pranab Mukherjee inspected one of the largest maritime events in the recent past, as International Fleet Review 2016 (IFR 2016) took place off the Visakhapatnam coast on Saturday.
Close to 75 Indian warships and 24 from Navies across the globe sailed past the Presidential yacht- INS Sumitra, that, besides Mukherjee hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Manohar Parrikar, three service chiefs besides others.
Amongst the Indian platforms that paraded in front of the high profile delegation off the east coast was INS Vikramaditya- India’s biggest aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, destroyers INS Kolkata, Mysore, frigates- Shivalik, Satpura, Teg amongst others.
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President Mukherjee watched as the Navy’s surface, sub surface and aerial platforms performed breathtaking maneuvers off Visakhapatnam’s famous Rama Krishna beach. The Naval helicopters Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, Chetaks performed Search and Rescue missions even as the latest acquisition P- 8i maritime reconnaissance aircraft flew past the Presidential yacht.
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The Hawk and Mig- 29 K aircraft too displayed breathtaking maneuvers- displaying the skills of the Naval warriors to operate their fighter jets at a pressure six times the gravitational force.
Sailors on board the vessels saluted the Presidential yacht and waved their berrets in a gesture to acknowledge the reviewing by the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. Amongst international platforms that paraded in front of the President were platforms from Bangladesh, China, US, Australia, Mauritius, Oman, UK, Vietnam besides others.
Close to 4000 sailors participated in the fleet review- perceived to be the biggest so far in India. The first international review had taken place in 2001 in which navies of 29 countries from across the globe had participated.