Madurai

New Commanding Officer for INS Kattabomman

Captain Vishal Gupta, a specialist in communications and electronic warfare, has assumed office as Commanding Officer of INS Kattabomman, Indian Navy’s premier sophisticated Very Low Frequency communication station at Vijayanarayanam in the district.

In a brief and simple ceremony held on the high security premises on Friday, outgoing Commanding Officer of INS Kattabomman Capt. Gaurav Gairola handed over the charges to Capt. Vishal Gupta, who has undergone the prestigious Naval Higher Command Course at Naval War College, Goa.

Speaking to reporters after assuming office, Capt. Vishal said INS Kattabomman’s efficiency would be utilised at the optimal level as was being done in the past and every possible step would be taken to enhance its capability and preparedness.

He said the INS Kattabomman’s outreach programmes, particularly the events to be organised during Navy Week Celebrations, would be utilized for creating awareness about the Indian Navy among the younger generation and attract the talented youths towards the armed forces, especially to the Indian Navy.

An ardent environmentalist, Capt. Vishal assured that he would strive hard to increase the green cover on the 3,000 acre INS Kattabomman premises without obstructing its signals and associated operations of the station.

“In fact, I’ve planned to explore the possibilities of creating even water bodies on the sprawling premises to conserve rainwater as this area has been categorised as a ‘rain deficit region’, he noted.

Capt. Vishal has served as Commanding Officer of INS Allepey, one of the six coastal minesweepers purchased from the erstwhile USSR in the 1970s and Torpedo Recovery Vessel 71, Executive Officer, second-in-command, of destroyer INS Ranjit and a Commissioning Crew of INS Tabar, a Talwar-class frigate.

Expressing immense satisfaction over serving as the Commanding Officer of 27-year-old INS Kattabomman for 26 months, Capt. Gaurav said the nerve centre of Indian Navy’s VLF communication station, which was earlier using the communication technology of 1980s, had upgraded it to the state-of-the-art technologies in 2014 by digitising the man – machine interface.

In its quest to establish credible hi-tech facility to communicate with submerged submarines in Very Low Frequency instead of the routine Very High Frequency, the Indian Navy started establishing ‘Project Skylark’ in 1984 after acquiring 3,000 acres of land at Vijayanarayanam in the district at a cost of ₹122 crore. As the Indian Navy successfully commissioned VLF facility in 1991, India became the seventh nation in the world having the capacity to communicate with the submarines stealthily creeping underwater in Very Low Frequency.

The facility, which is also capable of communicating with frigates and the ships, was named after Kattabomman, Tamil freedom fighter.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 10:49:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/new-commanding-officer-for-ins-kattabomman/article18949638.ece

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