After nearly 15 years, International Fleet Review (IFR) will be held in India, wherein 90 warships from 50 countries will participate.Visakhapatnam, which is proposed to become a ‘smart city’, will be beautified and developed with best infrastructure to host the IFR on the eastern seaboard.
At a curtain raiser press conference in New Delhi, Admiral R K Dhowan, the Chief of the Naval Staff, said over 50 navies from across the globe are expected to be represented at this event. President Pranab Mukherjee, as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, will inspect the fleet review.
The fleet review will be the last one for India’s ageing aircraft carrier INS Viraat, which is to be decommissioned after February. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian dignitaries, along with the Naval heads of the participating nations, will also attend the event.
The Admiral said that apart from being a ceremonial and diplomatic naval event, it is also an exercise in bringing together the navies of the world on a common platform in order to promote better understanding of each other and share the best operational practices. “And to also show the participating navies our capabilities and our indigenisation,” he said .
The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) will, for the first time, host the International Fleet Review 2016 from February 4 to 8, 2016. 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.
In the current geo-political scenario, “the leading nations of the world use the opportunity provided by the Fleet Review to enhance mutual trust and confidence with their maritime neighbours by inviting their ships to participate in the Review,” the naval chief said.
The event provides the host nation an occasion to display its own naval prowess and maritime capabilities while simultaneously generating goodwill amongst other maritime nations. The review also aims at assuring the country of the Indian Navy’s preparedness, high morale and discipline,” the naval chief said during the press meet.
Dhowan said “During the International Fleet Review, the navies of the world will come together at Visakhapatnam to strengthen bridges of friendship. We may be separated by geography, but we are certainly united through oceans.
The visiting navies will also have the opportunity to display their professional skills as they sail together for exercises to increase mutual cooperation.”
The specially designed signature elements for the event comprising the logo, the chosen mascot the Dolphin, the adopted theme ‘United through Oceans’ and the theme song were also released at the event.