Commissioning of indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has been a substantial addition to the Navy’s ORBAT (Order of Battle), said Navy Chief Admiral R. Hari Kumar. “In the last six months, our operational deployments have also emphasised our credibility, with a footprint covering all major oceans of the world,” he said, addressing the Naval Commanders Conference which concluded on Thursday.
“The maiden concurrent deployment of our ships across six continents on August 15 this year served as valuable signalling to underscore our credibility – at home, in the region, and across the world,” Admiral Kumar said. “In this regard, while deployment of our ships to six continents for Independence Day sent a clear signal of our reach, P-8I operations across the Indian Ocean Region have also been valuable strategic communication.”
“At the same time, Vikrant’s commissioning was also marked by momentous change, as we adopted the new Naval Ensign,” he said, while stating that this change, reflecting the “larger national intent to shed colonial vestiges, was brought about in a swift and decisive manner – reflecting our organisational agility and responsiveness.”
On recent achievements, the Navy Chief said the focus on ordnance centricity had been encouraging with a large number of successful missile and torpedo firings in the last campaign season, encompassing multiple systems, including different variants of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile.
This period also saw the launch of several ships into water — Surat, Udaygiri, Dunagiri, Nistar, Nipun, and Nirdeshak — along with progress in sea trails of Mormugao, Vagir and Vagsheer.
International Fleet Review
In a separate development, Naval ships Shivalik and Kamorta arrived at Yokosuka, Japan on Wednesday for participating in the International Fleet Review (IFR) scheduled at Sagami Bay off Yokosuka on November 6 to mark the 70th anniversary of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF).
The IFR will be reviewed by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and will include participation of 40 ships and submarines from 13 countries, the Navy said in a statement.
On completion of IFR. the Indian naval ships will participate in the 26th edition of Exercise Malabar with ships from the navies of Australia, Japan and the U.S..
Malabar began as a bilateral exercise between India and the U.S. in 1992 and has grown in complexity over the years and expanded into multilateral with inclusion of Japan and later Australia. “Malabar-22 will witness high-tempo exercises between participating platforms in multiple domains. Complex surface, sub-surface and air operations, including live firing drills are scheduled during the exercise,” the Navy said.