In his first visit to an operational military formation after assuming office, thePrime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the country’s new aircraft carrier,INS Vikramaditya to the Nation. The Prime Minister embarked the aircraftcarrier at sea off Goa, which was operating in the company of ten otherfrontline warships of the Indian Navy’s ‘Sword Arm’ – the Western Fleet. The Prime Minister was accompanied by theChief Minister of Goa Shri Manohar Parrikar, the Minister of State for DefenceRao Inderjit Singh, the National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval, the Chief ofNaval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan and the Defence Secretary Shri RK Mathur. He wasreceived onboard INS Vikramaditya by the Commander-in-Chief, Western NavalCommand Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, andFleet Commander, Western Fleet Rear Admiral AK Chawla,.
On arrival at the Naval Air Station INS Hansa earlier in the morning, the PrimeMinister was received by Admiral RK Dhowan and accorded a ceremonial Guard ofHonour. Thereafter, Shri Modi embarked the aircraft carrier at sea byhelicopter.
During the day, the Prime Minister witnessed ‘Air Power Demonstration’ by variousnaval aircraft including MiG 29K, Sea Harriers, P 8 I Long Range MaritimePatrol Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft, TU 142M, IL 38 SD, Dorniers, Kamov andSea King helicopters. He also witnessed high speed manoeuvres by Western Fleetships including the other aircraft carrier INS Viraat, Delhi class destroyersMysore and Mumbai, stealth frigates Tarkash, Talwar and Teg, guided missilefrigates Betwa and Godavari and fleet tanker Deepak amongst others.
Shri Modi also interacted withofficers and sailors onboard and congratulated them on their hard work anddedication in fully operationalising the INS Vikramaditya in such a short period. In his address to the personnel of the fleet,the Prime Minister stated that INS Vikramaditya will significantly enhance the‘Blue Water’ capability of the Indian Navy.
TheWestern Fleet, also known as the Sword Arm of the Indian Navy consists of manyfrontline warships including the Aircraft Carriers, INS Vikramaditya and INSViraat. Commissioned on 16 Nov 2013 atSeverodovinsk, Russia, the 44,500 tons displacement INS Vikramaditya marks thecoming of age for the navy and its commitment to safeguard the maritimeinterests of the country.
Withan overall length of 284 meters and a width of 60 meters measuring over threefootball fields, this floating airfield is equipped to carry a maximum of 34aircraft such as MIG 29 K fighters and Kamov 31 helicopters. The ship is now fully operational with Indianpilots taking off and landing the MIG 29K naval combat aircraft. Manned by a highly professional and competentcrew of 110 officers and 1500 sailors, the ship can propel at speeds over 30knots on the strength of her eight boilers producing a combined thrust of1,80,000 Shaft Horse power.
Forthe first time, the Naval communication satellite, Rukmini, was used totelecast live the events on board INS Vikramaditya. It was significant that thelive telecast took place from a moving platform.