Navy AOB to be ready by 2018

Airfield to be developed at Bobbili, says Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral Satish Soni

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:54 pm IST

Published - December 04, 2014 01:43 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM:

Vice Admiral Satish  Soni. Photo: K.R. Deepak

Vice Admiral Satish Soni. Photo: K.R. Deepak

The Eastern Naval Command’s alternative operational base will be commissioned by 2018.

The Command’s proposal for an alternative/diversionary airfield at Bobbili has received a No Objection Certificate and is presently with the Navy Headquarters.

Expansion plans

Giving details of its expansion plans and achievements of the ENC on the eve of the Navy Day, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral Satish Soni told a press conference that with a fighter aircraft base comprising MiG-29 K, advanced jet trainer Hawk and light combat aircraft being located in the ENC, the capacity to handle in Visakhapatnam would be reduced and shifted to the new airfield proposed at Bobbili. It will have a simulator for AJT training within a year.

Once the base at Rambilli was ready step-by-step some operational assets and sailing assets would be moved there.

India’s indigenous nuclear submarine Arihant was expected go to sea this year itself, he said.

Eventful year

Vice-Admiral Soni described the year as very eventful for ENC and has set a very high tempo with its ships participating in joint exercises including with China and in RIMPAC in Hawaii where 38 ships, four submarines and 200 aircraft from 22 countries participated for one month.

Besides, ENC was involved in joint naval exercises with 15 countries, including Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Australia and Brunei, and the Malabar exercise with the US.

ENC will host the International Fleet Review on February 7, 2016 and invitations have been sent to 79 nations and 100 ships are expected to participate.

Answering questions, the Vice-Admiral asserted that torpedo recovery vessel TRV-72 was seaworthy and went for two refits.

“We are studying failure of which system had led to the rate of flooding sinking the vessel,” he said.

It had to be used as there was no replacement and one was expected only in 2015.

The videography by a remotely operated vehicle gave the position of the vehicle useful for further deliberations.

No sabotage was suspected.

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