Both aircraft carriers of the Indian Navy, INS Vikramaditya and INS Viraat, and five other frontline ships that are part of the Navy’s Mumbai-based Western Fleet are in Kochi after participating in the just-concluded TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness and Operational Exercise).
This is the maiden visit of INS Vikramaditya, inducted into the Navy last November, to Kochi. Both Vikramaditya and Viraat, which is slated to be decommissioned in 2016, are at the outer anchorage while the other vessels are berthed alongside the quays at the Naval Base.
The potent Western fleet is commanded by Rear Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding of Western Fleet.
“A number of professional interactions are planned between personnel of different training units based in Kochi and the visiting ships in order to synergise the training and operational aspects of the Navy,” a spokesperson said. The ships would set out for Mumbai in a day or two on completion of professional engagements.
The newly-inducted aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, the Navy maintained, had been fully integrated with the fleet post-trials and was extensively used in its operational role in TROPEX. Home-ported at Karwar, Vikramaditya is commanded by Captain Suraj Berry. The outgoing aircraft carrier Viraat is commanded by Captain Rajesh Pendharkar.