A boat was
‘hijacked’ on the Kochi backwaters on Wednesday morning, leaving it to the
Indian Navy’s elite marine commandos to do the rescue act.
Only that it was
part of an operations demo conducted at the Southern Naval Command in honour of
the President and the Supreme Commander of Defence Forces, Ram Nath Kovind, who
watched the show along with his wife, Savita Kovind.
The simulation of
the Visit, Board, Search and Seize operation saw the armed marine commandos
chasing down the ‘hijacked’ vessel in two Gemini boats with the aerial support
of a Chetak helicopter.
demonstration got off to a high-octane start with five Gemini boats carrying
machine gun-wielding marine commandos steaming across the backwaters in an
arrow head formation firing saffron flares in honour of the President.
This was followed
by a fly-past demo, initially by three Chetak helicopters and followed by two
Advance Light Helicopters (ALH), Dhruv, manufactured by HAL and described as
the backbone of the Make in India initiative of the Indian aviation industry.
Three Seaking advanced anti-submarine warfare helicopters then flew past,
followed by three Dornier medium range maritime surveillance aircraft, which
are hailed as the workhorses of the Indian Navy.
Shore bombardment demonstrated
thereafter, INS Sunayna, a Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel (NOPV), demonstrated
shore bombardment whereby naval artillery provide fire support for troops operating
within their range.
another notch as a helicopter approached a moving INS Sharada, another offshore
patrol vessel, for the demonstration of landing on the narrow deck of a moving
vessel. The helicopter hovered close to the deck before breaking off without
A bomb detection
technician in his suit, along with a highly trained dog, then simulated the
tension-filled exercise of detecting a ‘bomb’, which was then shifted to a
specialised explosive containment vehicle with the help of another remotely
An ALH then staged
jaw-dropping manoeuvres, including a few sharp turns, sudden stops and sharp
drops, before tipping a salute in the direction of the President and flying
A Seaking helicopter,
also known as flying frigate, then hovered really low and dunked a sonar
beneath the water surface, demonstrating its capability to detect submerged
Young cadets and
Naval officers of INS Tarangini, a sail training ship, then performed ‘manning
the mast’ in honour of the President. INS Tir, the first cadet training ship of
the Indian Navy, INS Nireekshak, the Indian Navy’s only submarine rescue,
salvage, and diving support vessel, and INS Kalpeni, a fast attack craft,
Interceptor Crafts then sped across each other firing flares in honour of the
President. The nearly 40-minute enthralling demo came to a close with a
fly-past manoeuvre by the entire fleet of eight helicopters.
Mohammed Khan and Vice Admiral M.A. Hampiholi, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief
of the Southern Naval Command, were among those who attended the event.