President to review Navy’s fleet on Feb 21
- To commemorate 75 years of India’s independence, President Ram Nath Kovind will attend the President’s Fleet Review of the Indian Navy on 21 February in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
- Notably, the premier review ceremony will witness the participation of more than 60 vessels of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard along with over 50 indigenous aircraft.
- As per the Indian Navy, “The fleet review is a long-standing tradition followed by navies all across the world and it is an assembly of ships at a pre-designated place for the purpose of displaying loyalty and allegiance to the sovereign and the state”.
Significance of Navy’s Presidential review
- In terms of significance, the Indian Navy’s Presidential review is second only to the Republic Day Parade.
- Further, as the part of the ceremonial event, all participating units including Indian Naval Ships (INS), auxiliary vessels, submarines, submersibles along with maritime organizations such as the Indian Coast Guard, Shipping Corporation of India, and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), will be anchored in a formation of four precise columns.
- The premier ceremony will showcase each ship rendering a salute to the Supreme Commander of the Indian Defence Forces (President of India).
- The yachts would sail past and Indian Naval aircraft would concurrently fly overhead the formation rendering their salute.
- This year – the 75th year of Independence, the invites have been extended to resident Defence Attaches of all Friendly Foreign Countries for Presidential Fleet Reviews (PFR) 2022.
Genesis of PFR
- A fleet review is usually taking place once during the tenure of the President.
- To date, 11 Presidential Fleet Reviews have been conducted since Independence, of which two have been International Fleet Reviews, in the years 2001 and 2016.
- Historically, a Fleet Review is a cluster of ships at a pre-designated spot for the purpose of displaying loyalty and allegiance to the Sovereign and the State.
- With the reviewing of ships, the head of the state reaffirms the faith in the fleet and its ability to defend the nation’s maritime interest, and such an exercise is done without any “belligerent intentions.
Indian Navy’s largest multilateral exercise
- The development of President fleet review has come in the backdrop of the Indian Navy’s largest ever multilateral Milan exercise.
- The invitation for the exercise has been sent to 45 nations of which over 35 countries have already given their confirmation.
- The exercise was scheduled to be held in 2020 last time but was canceled due to the pandemic.
- Further, the venue of the exercise has been shifted from Andaman and Nicobar to Visakhapatnam, as it offers more sea space, to accommodate more ships and maritime-related activities.