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Naval News & Reviews

28 January 2016
Author: Paul Ridgway


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Images courtesy Indian Ministry of Defence

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee (a former Defence Minister) will review an international fleet, comprising over 75 surface warships and submarines off Visakhapatnam on 6 February. Here the Review Anchorage will hold warships from the Indian Navy as well as invited navies from across the globe. In addition, vessels of the Indian Coast Guard and Mercantile Marine will be participating.

After a 21-gun salute and ceremonial Guard of Honour the President, who is also Commander-in-Chief, will embark in the presidential yacht, distinguishable by the Ashoka emblem on her side and flying the President's standard on the mainmast. The presidential yacht will steam through the lines of the assembled fleet at anchor off Visakhapatnam Port. As the yacht passes between the review lines, each ship dressed overall will salute the President in this most formal of naval ceremonies whereby each ship's company, dressed in white ceremonial uniforms, will doff caps in unison in a grand salutation, conforming to long naval tradition.

During this impressive Indian naval event the President will also review the Indian Naval Air Arm. A spectacular flypast is to be led by Rear-Admiral PK Bahl, Flag Officer Naval Aviation as part of the static review of the Fleet. The flypast will comprise 15 formations of 45 aircraft including two formations from the Indian Coast Guard. This display will also show the latest acquisitions of the Indian Navy such as the carrier-borne MIG 29K strike fighter, the P81 long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft and the KM-31 AEW helicopter. In the final stage of the review, a column of warships and submarines will steam past the presidential yacht at speed.

A Naval Fleet review is a ceremonial and stately inspection of the fleet by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the President. The last International Fleet Review held off Mumbai in 2001, was a hugely acclaimed event. Since then, the President has also reviewed the Indian Naval Fleet in 2006 and 2011. It is indeed a matter of immense pride by the Indian Navy to showcase the International Fleet to the Supreme Commander again in IFR-2016.

Paul Ridgway
Acknowledging with gratitude assistance from the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and www.india.gov.in

Footnote: The Valour class frigate SAS Spioenkop F147 is representing the South African Navy at the 2016 Indian Navy Fleet Review. Following the Review SAS Spioenkop will take part in this year's IBSAMAR naval exercise involving ships of the Indian and Brazilian Navies.

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