On Saturday, President Pranab Mukherjee reviewed Indian Navy’s fleet in Visakhapatnam at the historic International Fleet Review (IFR) for which 50 countries across the globe have come together.
On board the Presidential Yacht ‘INS Sumitra’, the President witnessed a display of 70 ships which were anchored off Visakhapatnam. Each ship dressed in its full regalia, offered a salute to the President as his yacht passed.
In the final stage of the review, a mobile column of warships and submarines streamed past the Presidential Yacht.
The President also reviewed a spectacular fly-past by the Indian Naval air arm which made 15 stunning formations.
A fleet review is a traditional show of prowess of a country’s navy to be reviewed by the Supreme Commander. IFRs are held to build cooperation among different navies of the world. This is the second time an IFR is being held in India.
President Mukherjee, who is also the supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan at the event.
After reviewing the fleet the President thanked the 50 friendly Navies who had sailed across oceans and sent Naval ships and delegations to participate in the first IFR on India’s east coast.
Navies across the world must re-focus their efforts to counter the rising tide of non-traditional maritime challenges in the brown, green and blue waters across all oceans” said the President.
“Navies world over have conducted fleet reviews to symbolise their loyalty, allegiance to the nation and strengthening bonds between the sailors and the State,” he added.
IFR 2016 formally opened on Friday evening at Command Stadium, INS Satavahana where the Governor of Andhra Pradeshi ESL Narasimhan was the chief guest.
“IFR aims at assuring the country of the Indian Navy’s readiness, high morale and discipline, “said Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan on Friday.
The participating fleet will be open for public viewing at Visakhapatnam coast on Sunday. District Police Commissioner’s office has issued 1.5 lakh passes for the general public to watch IFR activities on Beach Road.
(With inputs from PTI)