Swarnim Vijay Varsh 2021 - Naval Operational Demo on the Hooghly River ‘SamudriVirasatPradarshan'

March 21, 2021 Photo(s): By PRO (Navy)
Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Bhankar witnessing the Naval Op Demo at Hooghly River

As part of the Swarnim Vijay Varsh 2021 Celebrations at Kolkata, Indian Navy conducted a maiden Operational Demonstration on the Hooghly River on March 20, 2021. This unique event displayed the maritime prowess of assets and personnel who sail the high seas as well as operate along the coast. Two Waterjet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC), four Navy Patrol Boats, one each SeaKing and Chetak helicopter, a Marine Commando (MARCOS) team and a Coast Guard Air Cushion Vessel (CG ACV) demonstrated in the ‘Op Demo’. The Hon’ble Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankar graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

A High speed ‘Steampast’ by four armed Navy Patrol Boats opened the Op Demo on the Hooghly, followed by the CG ACV, which operating from Haldia, glided over the surface of the Hooghly river displaying its unique manoeuvres. It was followed by WJFACs sailing down the river, executing precise navigational manoeuvers and anchoring mid-river. Formation flying by a SeaKing and Chetak helicopter took the demo to the Skies, after which the Chetak demonstrated ‘Search and Rescue’ of a simulated rescue of a drowning person from the river. Both helicopters thereafter displayed their aerial prowess by performing ‘helibatics’ for the audience. The MARCOS displayed their skill in undertaking fast airborne insertion into occupied territory by slithering down from a SeaKing onto a Gemini Assault Watercraft followed by a simulated clandestine beach assault. This was followed by a swift ‘extraction’ by the SeaKing utilising a method known as STIE (Small Team Insertion and Extraction), wherein the Commandos latched onto a special rope underslung from the helicopter and were flown out hanging onto it.

Chetak helicopter demonstrating Search and Recuse Operations during the Naval Op Demo

The final aerial act witnessed the Chetak displaying vertical replenishment and transferring a Memento from the river to the seating area which was presented by Vice Admiral AB Singh, Flag officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command to the Chief Guest. After a final high-speed salute by the Naval Patrol Boats, the gathering was treated to some patriotic fervour by the Navy Band.

The Op Demo concluded with the ‘Sunset Ceremony’ wherein the Naval Ensigns at BabuGhat and on the naval ships anchored mid-river,were lowered along with the firing of flares by the ships into the sky illuminating their silhouettes. A stellar fireworks display over the Hooghly brought the curtain down on the ‘SamudriVirasatPradarshan’.

This was the first time that such an event, involving Naval ships, patrol boats, aircraft and a CG hovercraft, was conducted on the Hooghly at Kolkata. The historic first event enthralled an audience that included armed forces personnel from all three Services, Veterans and general publicincluding children and NCC cadets who thronged the riverbanks of the Hooghly to watch this unique spectacle in Kolkata.

Coast Guard Air Cushion Vessel participating in the Op Demo
MARCOS demonstrating simulated beach assault
Naval Patrol Boats taking part in the Op Demo at Kolkata
Naval ships participating in the Op Demo at Kolkata
Naval ship illuminating durng the Op Demo at Kolkata
Naval Ships firing flares as part of Sunset Ceremony at Naval Op Demo at Kolkata
Seaking helicopter undertaking slithering operations of MARCOS during Naval Op Demo
Navy Band enthralling the audience during the Op Demo
Vice Adm AB Singh FOC-IN-C ENC presenting a Memento to the Honble Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankar