Visakhapatnam, Feb 9: The sailing ships, including INS Tarangani, were flagged-off by a senior Naval official on conclusion of the five-day-long International Fleet Review (IFR) held here.
During the IFR, which concluded yesterday, President Pranab Mukherjee had embarked on Presidential Yacht 'INS Sumitra' and reviewed the imposing international parade of fleet at IFR-2016 where 50 countries across the globe came together to participate in this show of prowess and preparedness by the Indian Navy.
Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command (ENC) flagged off the sailing ships - INS Tarangani, INS Sudarshani and sailing boat Mhiedi - from INS Sumitra. "The IFR went off in a grand success as we (Navy) planned and more than our expectations," Soni said.
According to him, IFR was a great opportunity for public to see the capability of the country's Navy. "Without people's cooperation it (the event) would not (have) been possible. It was great experience for the 20,000 young naval personnel who took part in it for showcasing their talent," the Flag officer said.
Soni further said the Chiefs of various Navies across the globe expressed happiness over the event and particularly the cooperation and hospitality extended by people of Vizag.
The visiting foreign ships, who participated in the IFR were escorted to the open seas on their way home. These ships will sail out from here in two groups of 27 ships each for a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) beginning this evening.
This is the first ever PASSEX in Indian waters with combined participation of such larger number of foreign and Indian warships, a Defence release said.
On completion of the PASSEX, the foreign ships will shape course for their next destination and Indian Naval ships from other Naval commands will proceed for their designated tasks, it added.
Meanwhile, asked about the decommissioning of the aircraft carrier - INS Viraat -, the FOC-in-C said the ship will be decommissioned this year. On commissioning of the aircraft Carrier INS Vikrant, Soni said it was likely to be commissioned either in 2018 or 2019 after sea trials in 2017.