The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman along with the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) Western Naval Command (WNC), Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) Western Fleet (WF), Rear Admiral R.B. Pandit and CO Vikramaditya Capt. Ajay Kochhar on board INS Vikramaditya, during the operational manoeuvres of the Western Fleet ships, conducted by the Indian Navy, on January 08, 2018.

Raksha Mantri (RM) Smt Nirmala Sitharaman presided over India’s show of Naval might on 08 and 09 January 2018. More than ten warships from the Indian Navy including the aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, three submarines and various naval aircraft participated in operational manoeuvres conducted off the western coast of India.

The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman being briefed about Naval Operations onboard Flagship INS Vikramaditya while witnessing the operational manoeuvres of the Western Fleet ships, conducted by the Indian Navy, on January 08, 2018.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba is also seen.

The RM initially embarked INS Kolkata, the first of the indigenously built Kolkata Class destroyers and then spent the night at sea on-board INS Vikramaditya. To assess the performance of the carrier in real conditions, the RM ‘transited’ through a simulated ‘multi-threat’ environment on-board along with her ‘escorts’ during the night of 08 January.

The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman being briefed about Naval Operations onboard Flagship INS Vikramaditya while witnessing the operational manoeuvres of the Western Fleet ships, conducted by the Indian Navy, on January 08, 2018.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba is also seen.

Reviewing the maritime prowess of the Indian Navy over the two days, Smt Sitharaman presided over a multiple complex naval operations including air interceptions, missile, gun and rocket firings, ship-to-ship replenishment, night flying and anti­submarine operations. The Western Fleet of the Indian Navy undertook these major naval manoeuvres off the western seaboard of India to showcase operational excellence and combat capabilities.

The Union Minister for Defence, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman addressing the Western Fleet on board INS Vikramaditya, during the operational manoeuvres of the Western Fleet ships, conducted by the Indian Navy, on January 08, 2018.

The RM commented on the battle readiness of the Indian Navy. “Having witnessed first-hand the prowess of the Western Fleet, I am confident that the Indian Navy is fully capable of defending the nation against any form of threat”, she stated.

Continuing  the  effort  to  collect  feedback  from  Armed  Forces  Personnel  at  all operational levels of the military, Smt Sitharaman interacted closely and had open discussions with the sailors on-board the warships.

Finally, the RM disembarked the ship by naval helicopter to INS Hansa, Goa, today.