The Indian Navy on Saturday demonstrated its combat and rescuing capabilities in the high seas by deploying modern warships and helicopters off the Chennai coast.

With Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah and a host of invitees on board the Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa, Navy personnel showcased their expertise in search/rescue operations. As awe-struck children cheered, marine commandos were air-dropped into a speed boat to simulate operations against pirates while another team transferred people from one ship to another with ease.

Destroyers Rana and Ranvijay and missile corvettes Kirpan, Kulish and Kirch were part of the exercise organised by the Eastern Naval Command as part of the Navy Week celebrations.

The Navy Day is celebrated on December 4 every year to commemorate the daring attack by the OSA Class missile boat on Karachi during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

The star of the event was the giant INS Jalashwa, a Landing Platform Dock, which is an amphibious assault ship capable of stationing four helicopters, tanks and at least 1,000 troops simultaneously. Besides its comprehensive combat infrastructure, the ship has extensive medical facilities such as four operation theatres, x-ray room, 12-bed ward, bacteriological laboratory, etc.

Inviting people, particularly students, to visit the ships at the Chennai Port on Sunday, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet Rear Admiral Ajit Kumar P said 35 new ships of different class were under construction in shipyards.

The Eastern Fleet was very important, more so in the backdrop of the Look East Policy, and the force had joint exercises with ASEAN countries.

The fleet based at Visakhapatnam had extremely potent war ships, including the indigenous stealth frigates of the ‘Shivalik Class’.

INS Jalashwa was primarily designed to carry armed troops to distant shores and could also be deployed for secondary roles such as disaster relief and evacuation of Indians stranded in war-torn areas abroad.

Destroyers Rana and Ranvijay of Soviet origin were equipped with surface-to-surface missiles, anti-submarine torpedoes, surface-to-air missiles and numerous guns to thwart all possible attacks at sea.

Describing the sortie as a pleasant experience, Mr. Rosaiah expressed happiness over the level of preparedness of the Navy and their capability to defend the country from external attacks.

The Union Government had special plans to modernise the defence forces with state-of-the-art weaponry and infrastructure.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National