President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday morning conducted Fleet Review of the Indian Navy in Visakhapatnam. He is in the port city for a three-day visit to the Eastern Naval Command. This is the second time that Visakhapatnam is hosting the Fleet Review, the first being in the year 2006 by the then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam.
As the Supreme Commander of our armed forces, every President of India reviews the Indian Naval Fleet once during their term.
The Fleet Review is aimed at assuring the country of the Indian Navy’s preparedness, high morale and discipline.
This is the twelfth Fleet Review and is being conducted on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence being celebrated as ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ by the central government.
What is the Presidential Fleet Review?
Since he is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of the country, the President of India takes stock of the Navy’s capabilities in the Fleet Review.
The President embarks on a yacht (called the Presidential Yacht) to review the Indian Naval Fleet. It is comprised of over 60 ships and submarines, and 55 aircraft this year. The yacht will be distinguished by the Ashoka Emblem on her side and will fly the President’s Standard on the Mast.
Ships from all naval commands and Andaman and Nicobar Command are docked on one of the naval ports for the Presidential Fleet Review (This year in Visakhapatnam). As part of the exercise, the Presidential Yacht sails past the columns of ships anchored in lanes, and accorded the ceremonial salute, one by one.
The President is also given a 21-gun salute during the review.
Naval vessels to be present in this year’s review
According to the Defence Ministry, the participating platforms in the Fleet Review will include newly inducted combat platforms, the latest stealth destroyer INS Visakhapatnam and INS Vela, a Kalvari class submarine commissioned into the Indian Navy recently.
Three Shivalik class frigates and three Kamorta class ASW Corvettes will also form part of the review. Ships from the Coast Guard, Shipping Corporation of India and Ministry of Earth Sciences are also taking part in the exercise.
A composite fly past by Chetaks, ALH, Sea Kings, KAMOVs, Dorniers, IL-38SD, P8I, Hawks and MiG 29K will also form part of the review.
Focus on indigenous capabilities
The Navy said that 47 out the 60 ships and submarines participating in the review this year have been constructed in Indian shipyards, thus showcasing indigenous capabilities and progress towards Atmanirbharta (self-reliance).
The President’s yacht too is an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel, INS Sumitra, which will lead the Presidential Column.
What else will happen in the Fleet Review?
During the review today, a mobile column of warships and submarines will steam past the Presidential Yacht. This display will also showcase the latest acquisitions of the Indian Navy.
Further, several enthralling waterfront activities, including parade of sails, search and rescue demonstration at sea, aerobatics by Hawk aircraft and water para jumps by the elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS) will be conducted.
The President will also release a special First Day Cover and a commemorative stamp on the occasion.
How many reviews have been held so far?
According to Indian Navy, 11 Fleet Reviews have been organized so far. The first one was conducted on 1953, under President Rajendra Prasad.
Two of these reviews were international – in 2001 and 2016 – in which vessels from other countries also participated.