Fleet tanker INS Deepak joins Navy's Western Fleet

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Mumbai, Jan 21 (ANI): Italian-built fleet tanker, INS Deepak, was today commissioned into the Navy by Defence Minister A K Antony who said the year will see more acquisitions and commissioning of vessels to strengthen maritime security.

The tanker was commissioned at the Naval Dockyard here.

Addressing the gathering, the Defence Minister said the Navy has embarked on an ambitious shipbuilding programme to provide it with the required maritime assets to meet its mandate.

"Indian defence shipyards are working to their full capacity to meet the country's warship requirements," he said.

"India's continued presence in Indian Ocean waters necessitates pursuing our strategic and diplomatic interests for which a ship such as Deepak, with an ability to sustain the Indian fleets at sea for prolonged periods, is a vital asset to ensure Indian Navy's continuous presence in our area of interest," he added.

He unveiled the ship's name plaque, marking the formal induction of INS Deepak into the Indian Navy.

Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, Chief of Naval staff and Vice-Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin, the flag officer commanding in Chief of Western Naval Command and other dignitaries, attended the commissioning ceremony

Designed by Fincanteri Shipyard specifically for the Indian Navy, this ship is one of the largest ships of the navy, 175 metres long, 25 metres wide and has a full load displacement of 27,500 tonnes.

The ship has been designed, constructed and delivered in a record time of 27 months and is a second-generation ship. The erstwhile Deepak, commissioned in Nov 1967 was decommissioned in Apr 1996 after a glorious 29 years of service in the navy. (ANI)

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