VISAKHAPATNAM: The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) will, for the first time, host the International Fleet Review 2016. Warships from over 60 maritime nations will be invited to participate in the event. This would be the second time that the Indian Navy will be hosting the International Fleet Review after the one held in Mumbai in 2001.
Top sources in the Indian Navy at Eastern Naval Command said that the event is being hosted to build better relationship with the other nations.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian dignitaries, along with the Naval heads of the participating nations, are expected to attend the fleet review.
People can also witness the extravaganza which would include a fly-past at the Beach Road, among other events. “The Presidential Fleet Review held at Visakhapatnam in 2006 can be considered as a trailer when compared to the International Fleet Review to be held in 2016,” a senior Naval officer said.
In the International Fleet Review 2001 held in Mumbai, more than 60 ships from over 22 nations including USA, UK, Japan and Australia participated. Naval officials are expecting the participation of more maritime nations during the latest international fleet review to be held in 2016 in the Bay of Bengal.
Though the preparations are in the preliminary stages, senior officials said that international seminars on maritime issues, sports, band concerts and other events will be held for the maritime nations participating in the event.
Meanwhile, the Navy will be commissioning a VLF (very low frequency) station proposed at Pudur village in Vikarabad mandal in Ranga Reddy district, near Hyderabad, within the next three years after the land is handed over by the Telangana government. They will be paying `115 crore to the Telangana government for compensatory afforestation and the net present value of the land. The Navy will also take up the re-establishment of the VLF equipment at INS Kattabomman situated near Tirunalveli in Tamil Nadu, with the equipment having served the Navy for 25 years since its inception in 1991.
A VLF Station houses very low frequency transmitters and is used to send encrypted signals for communicating with submarines underwater. A submarine on the surface can transmit and receive wireless messages like a ship but submarine underwater can only receive wireless messages on Very Low Frequency (VLF). VLF transmitters require a huge array of antennae suspended high above the ground. Sources said that Pudur was chosen for the VLF station for its strategic location.
Both the VLF stations, at Tirunalveli and Pudur, would be used to keep tabs on the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean. “Nearly 3,500 people will be employed thanks to the the VLF station. We are expecting the No Objection Certificate from the Telangana government any day now and will start getting clearances from various government departments at the earliest,” said top Naval sources.