The Navy’s prowess in a wide range of operations was on display off Rajendra Maidan in Kochi on Sunday evening at a demonstration held as part of Navy Day celebrations. Hundreds gathered along the backwaters to witness the annual exhibition of power and skill organised by the Southern Naval Command.
State Governor Nikhil Kumar and Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, witnessed the evening’s demonstration that began with a flypast by all aircraft of the INS Garuda and the TU-142 aircraft from Chennai. The INS Teg stealth missile frigate fitted with state-of-the-art sensors and weapons, warships Sharda, Sujata, Sarvekshak, Kabra, and Sagardhwani, and sail training ship INS Tarangini, were among the Naval vessels on display.
The Chetak, Seaking, and the indigenous Advance Light Helicopters (ALH) stole the show with demonstrations of their strength and manoeuvrability. Naval personnel demonstrated the use of the helicopters in search and rescue operations in the seas.
Like in the previous years, VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) on a suspected pirate vessel; fly-past of a Seaking commando-lift helicopter with a jeep under-slung; STIE (Small team insertion and extraction) operation where commandos were dropped and withdrawn from a hostile area; clandestine attack operations, destruction of a simulated oil platform by a team of Marine Commandos were all on display at the high-voltage demonstration.
The newly inducted Fast Interceptor Craft, capable of doing high speeds of around 45 knots, were also fielded to showcase its capabilities in coastal security and force protection.
A demonstration of athletic ability and skill by two girls of the Navy Children’s School on water skis drew applause from the crowd. Sailors of the INS Dronacharya also performed a continuity drill that stood out for their precision, discipline, and skill in weapons handling.
The demonstration concluded with the ceremonial beating retreat performed by the Naval Band and the lowering of the National Flag and Naval Ensign at sunset. Five warships then sailed past the gathering with their silhouette illuminated.