NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley’s first official military event outside the national capital will be in Mumbai on Saturday, when he will commission two new Coast Guard vessels, sources said on Wednesday.
Jaitley will go to Mumbai on Saturday morning and be given a guard of honour on-board the 55-year-old India’s oldest aircraft carrier INS Viraat, sources said.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Robin Dhowan will receive Jaitley in Mumbai . A day earlier, the new Western Naval Commander Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, who was named this week, too would take charge. Chopra too would be present when the Defence Minister visits Mumbai.
The commissioning of the Coast Guard fast patrol vessels (FPVs) ICGS Achook and Agrim would be held at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.
The two FPVs are built by the Cochin Shipyard and these can touch speeds of over 30 knots. These vessels, 20 of which are being built by the Cochin Shipyard, are the fifth and sixth in the series.
The FPVs are meant for the Coast Guard to carry out anti-poaching, anti-smuggling, anti-gunrunning and other criminal activities in the seas close to the Indian coast.
DM Meets Chiefs
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley met BrahMos chief A Sivathanu Pillai and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) chairman R K Tyagi in South Block.
Jaitley has over the last week met with the top officials to understand the functioning of the ministry.
BrahMos and HAL chiefs were closeted with Jaitley for half-an-hour each during the three hours the minister spent in South Block on Tuesday. Officials said the BrahMos chief explained to the minister the unique arrangement that India has with Russia for designing, developing and producing the world’s only operational supersonic cruise missile.