The Navy has conducted a major review of the operational preparedness and combat-readiness of its Eastern Fleet, which is deployed in the Bay of Bengal and beyond to protect Indian interests and keep track of hostile forces on the high seas.
With an eye firmly on China as well as in tune with India’s “Act East” policy, the Navy has been bolstering force-levels on the eastern seaboard with new warships, maritime patrol aircraft and spy drones. The ongoing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, which is into its ninth month now, has added a sense of urgency to the ongoing rebalance to the eastern seaboard.
Officers said Eastern Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain embarked on different warships over the last four days for a first-hand assessment during the “operational readiness inspection” of the Eastern Fleet.
Twenty-two warships, including the Ranvir-class guided-missile destroyers and Shivalik-class stealth frigates, participated in the review, which saw drills involving force protection against asymmetric attacks, weapon firings, anti-submarine warfare and fleet manoeuvres under realistic conditions.
“The fleet was put through paces to showcase the multi-dimensional warfare capabilities in protecting the vast maritime borders and offshore assets of the country,” said an officer.