51 countries ready for fleet review in Vizag

51 countries ready for fleet review in Vizag
India’s second International Fleet Review (IFR-16) will begin from Thursday at the Eastern Naval Command off Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

President Pranab Mukherjee will review the fleet at the five-day event on February 6 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ENC’s Flag Officer Commander-In-Chief  Vice Admiral Satish Soni said the command is ready to host navy chiefs and officers from across the world.

He said 51 countries including US, Russia, UK, China, Australia, Brazil, Mauritius, Bangladesh and Maldives are taking part at the IFR.

Twenty of those countries are bringing their own ships. Including Indian ships, seventy ships –24 of them warships from foreign countries—and 24 naval chiefs would take part at the IFR.

Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya  and INS Viraat -weighing about 40,000 tonnes and USS Antietam –the 10,000 tonne American guided missile cruiser will be part of the event, besides Corvettes, Destroyers, anti submarine warfare ships, 75 helicopters and hawk jet fighters.

President Mukherjee, the supreme commander of the armed forces, will participate in the review as per the traditions.

The ceremonial guard of honour and 21-gun salute on the wharf would precede the presidential review of the fleet. Mukherjee, onboard the presidential yacht INS Sumitra, would inspect Indian and foreign ships anchored in six columns. During the review, 150 Naval Personnel dressed in full regalia will shout “Jai”, thrice.

The review will also include a fly-past led by Flag Officer Naval Aviation Rear Admiral PK Bahl, as part of the President’s inspection of the Navy’s air wing.

The naval Air wing will display 45 aircrafts in 15 formations, two of them by the Indian Coast Guard. The fleet review will feature Navy’s latest acquisitions including all weather fighter aircraft MIG 29K, Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft, patrol aircraft P8I and the AEW helicopter KM-31.

As a new addition, 24 skydivers from Indian Navy Marine Commandos (Marcos) will descend on the shore with colourful parachutes on February 7. The first commando to reach the ground will hand a book on Maritime Heritage to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The event would begin on Thursday with the inauguration of Maritime Exhibition at Andhra University followed by wreath laying at Maritime memorial at Ramakrishna beach, while the opening ceremony will be held  in INS Satavahana Stadium on Friday.

Sunday’s events would include  International Maritime conference, city parade and concert by foreign bands.

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