Modi’s Indian Ocean visit: 2 Aircraft Carriers, 7 Warships to keep vigil

Posted: March 11, 2015 in Semco Group
As PM Narendra Modi embarks on three Indian Ocean nations tour today to enhance maritime relations, the Indian Navy has deployed its two formidable carrier battle groups led by aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and INS Virat along with seven warships to keep a close vigil on the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on three Indian Ocean nations tour today to enhance maritime relations, the Indian Navy has deployed its two formidable carrier battle groups led by aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and INS Virat along with seven warships to keep a close vigil on the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Mr Modi will begin his five-day visit this evening that would cover Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka. A day before the Prime Minister began his tour to the Indian Ocean Region, both the battle group along with warships from Western fleet, armed with fighter jets, helicopters, reconnaissance planes, missiles and other weaponry reached Kochi.

This is for the first time that the newly-inducted aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is visiting Kochi after joining the fleet. Incidentally, Mr Modi had visited the aircraft carrier last year, immediately after assuming the office.

This is also for the first time that the Indian Navy has deployed its both aircraft carriers in tandem to keep vigil on the vast span of Indian Ocean Regions western flank. Officially, the fleet has been moved from Mumbai to Kochi ‘to synergise the training and operational aspects of the Navy.’

All these three nations, where the Prime Minister is visiting, are considered vital for maritime security and an important link between Strait of Malacca to the gulf of Aden, an area which is full of maritime activities as 70 per cent of the oil passes through the sea lanes criss-crossing the region.

Off late, China has been deepening its relations with littoral states to the Indian Ocean Region, particularly Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Seychelles as part of its String of Pearls diplomacy to counter Indias Look East Policy, which is often described as Encircle China policy by Beijings commentators.

INS Vikramaditya, the latest aircraft carrier inducted by the Indian Navy, is presently based at Karwar and commanded by Capt Suraj Berry. The ship has been fully integrated with the fleet post trials and has successfully participated in the recently concluded Theatre level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) where it was extensively used in its operational role. INS Virat, the other aircraft carrier, is being commanded by Capt Rajesh Pendharkar.

Source: Defence News
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