Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s first outing since taking charge promises to be action packed with the leader set to witness high precision naval fighter operations — the kind which have never been demonstrated before in public. Modi is set to embark the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier — India’s largest warship — on a Sea King helicopter on Saturday morning.
What shall follow is the first ever show of the MiG 29 K fighter operations from the flight deck of the ship that shall signal that it is operationally ready to be deployed to protect Indian interests. An air power demonstration has been planned for the PM that would include take off and arrestor wire landing operations by the MiG 29 K fighters — one of the most potent naval fighters in the world. A total of 32 aircraft are taking part in the flight demonstration.
The PM, who shall embark on the ship from the Goa Naval Air Station, shall also witness high-speed, low-level operations of the fighters in a series of flybys and manoeuvres that have been planned as a show of strength.
Besides, the MiG 29 K fighters, other naval aircraft including the Sea Harriers, P-8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft, TU 142M, IL 38 SD, Dorniers, Kamov and Sea King helicopters shall demonstrate their prowess.
On Friday, a day before Modi’s day at sea, the crux of the Indian naval fleet has congregated off the Goa naval air station. Visible from the runway and its shore based training facility are both of India’s aircraft carriers — the Viraat and the Vikramaditya. The ships are likely to sail for deeper waters in the night and would be boarded by the PM at around 10 am.
“The PM will also watch high speed manoeuvres by Western Fleet ships including aircraft carrier INS Viraat, Delhi class destroyers, Talwar class frigates and more. The PM is also scheduled to meet and interact with the crew onboard and address the officers and sailors of the Indian Navy,” the spokesperson said.
The tight schedule of the PM — he is also expected to undertake a few political events in Goa — means that he will not be able to do all that was initially planned, including inaugurating the newly-constructed Shore Based Training Facility at Goa that is basically a replica of the Vikramaditya fight deck on land to train pilots before they undertake actual landings and take offs from the carrier.