Kochi: The Southern Naval Command (SNC) on Wednesday displayed the country’s maritime prowess and operations before President Ram Nath Kovind, who is also the supreme commander of the Indian armed forces, as part of the naval operation demonstration held here.
Kovind, who is on a four-day visit to the southern state, also visited the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant and interacted with the Navy officers who provided him with a first hand brief on the progress of the sea trials.
The President, who reached Kerala on December 21, was accompanied by his wife Savitha Kovind and daughter Swathi.
Kovind was accorded a guard of honour after which the Navy band performed before the August gathering, comprising the President, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, State Industries Minister P Rajeeve, Southern Naval Command Flag Officer Commanding-in Chief Vice Admiral M A Hampiholi, among others.
The demonstration held in the Ernakulam Channel commenced with MARCOS (Marine Commandos) carrying out simulated combat beach reconnaissance and assault, using inflatable watercraft, Gemini, followed by delivering the programme brochure to the President.
During the 40-minute-long demonstration, Kovind witnessed various fly past performances by fixed wing aircraft Dornier, the Anti-Submarine warfare helicopter Seaking 42 B, the indigenously manufactured surveillance and search and rescue helicopter ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter) and the Angels of the Sea, Chetak helicopter.
Seaking 42 B demonstrated the sonar dunk operations to detect the submarines.
INS Sunayna, INS Sharda and INS TIR undertook demonstrations, including simulated firing of guns and helicopter landing demos.
Special operations by MARCOS from air and water; simulation of VBSS (Visit, Board Search and Seizure) operations and helobatics by ALH and Chetak helicopters, including SAR (Search and Rescue) were part of the demonstration.
The highlight of the day was the manning of the yard and arms of the Sail training ship INS Tarangini.
A specially trained sniffer dog of the Indian Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team demonstrated its special capability of detecting an explosive device, following which a remotely operated vehicle was used to transfer the explosive to the Explosive containment vehicle.
After the demonstration, President and his family, along with the dignitaries, proceeded to the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and visited IAC Vikrant which is under construction here.
This was the first visit of the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces to the IAC and he was provided with a first hand brief on the progress of the sea trials and the commissioning of the vessel.
Navy officials said that the President took a brief walk around of the aircraft carrier and expressed satisfaction on the progress and appreciated the efforts of the Indian Navy and the Cochin Shipyard Limited.
Kovind will fly to Thiruvananthapuram on December 23 to attend a few functions there and will leave for New Delhi on December 24.