VISAKHAPATNAM: Eastern Naval Command will soon have MiG-29 fighter aircraft squadron. Initially, it will be a training facility and subsequently it will be an operational squadron, Eastern Naval Command (ENC) Flag Officer Commanding-in- Chief Vice Admiral AK Jain said here on Tuesday.
Addressing mediapersons on board INS Jalashwha on the eve of Navy Day, Vice Admiral Jain said INS Vikrant aircraft carrier will be based at Vizag and land has already been identified for its berthing facility.
The ENC will also get MRH helicopters and a contract in this connection will be signed soon. These will prove to be a game changer as far as anti-submarine warfare is concerned, the Vice Admiral said.
INS Ranjit was decommissioned and two Rajput class ships will be decommissioned next year, he said. “As a replacement of these ships, the ENC will get three Delhi class ships, besides three ships out of seven Shivali class ships,” he added.
Currently, the Vice Admiral said the ENC was undertaking four mission-based deployments—North Bay of Bengal Deployment, Malacca Deployment, Central IOR deployment and Sunda development. Ships from the command will also be deployed in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy patrol.
He said the command has recently inducted Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV), which is capable of rescuing submarines in distress up to depth of 650 metres. The DSRV is capable of being transported by air and seat at short notice.
As far as India is concerned 90 percent of trade by volume passes through the sea.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of $ 5 trillion economy and it can be achieved through facilitating smooth maritime trade. Hence maritime security has become more important, he said.
As part of Act East policy, ENC is engaged in bilateral exercises.