The Visakhapatnam International Fleet Review 2016, concluded February 9 with Indian and foreign Naval ships undertaking a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the Bay of Bengal.
As maritime traditions mandate, visiting foreign ships are generally escorted to the open seas on their way home upon their completion of a visit.
54 ships that had participated in IFR-16 sailed out from Visakhapatnam with combined participation of foreign and Indian warships yesterday.
The exercise witnessed participation by 34 Indian Naval ships and 20 foreign warships from across 14 countries. The US Navy, Peoples Liberation Army (Navy) and the Royal Navy of Oman deployed two ships each for the exercise.
The Passage Exercise was conducted in two groups, centred on Indian aircraft carriers Vikramaditya and Viraat, wherein the ships sailed out in two groups of 27 ships each, with the first group under the command of Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh NM, embarked onboard aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and the second group under the command of Rear Admiral SV Bhokare YSM NM, embarked onboard the aircraft carrier INS Viraat and included manoeuvres and flying operations.
Notably, the flying operations also included landing of a helicopter from Royal Navy ship HMS Defender onboard INS Viraat to commemorate the historic association of the aircraft carrier with the Royal Navy. Namely, INS Viraat originally served as an aircraft carrier in the Royal Navy under the name HMS Hermes.