Security beefed up for Prez`s fleet review

Indian Navy has put in place the highest level of security in recent times on the western coast for the 10th President`s Fleet Review.

Updated: Dec 19, 2011, 21:32 PM IST

Mumbai: Indian Navy has put in place the
highest level of security in recent times on the western
coast, turning Mumbai into an impenetrable fortress for the
10th President`s Fleet Review (PFR) here on Tuesday.

"Navy has put in place the highest level of security for
the PFR. The Presidential Column which includes presidential
yacht and other VIP vessels will be escorted by two extra fast
attack crafts" Navy spokesperson Cdr PVS Satish said.

Replying to a question on any threat perception during
the event, he said, "All possible security measures will be in
place to secure the area. There will be various layers of
security in place along with air surveillance and anti-missile
batteries."

Navy and Indian coast guard have deployed 15 platforms to
guard the Mumbai anchorage area along with round-the-clock air
surveillance from INS Shikra. This is said to be the highest
security arrangement by Navy after 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Along with 60 plus naval warships which have come from
various naval commands including Andaman and Nicobar, a total
of 81 ships are participating in the event which includes fly
past by 44 aircraft from Navy and Coast Guard. Each ship will
have its own protection and security measure in place to
counter any threat, Satish said.
Four Union ministers -- Minister for Shipping G K Vasan,
Sachin Pilot, Milind Deora (both Ministers of State for
Communications and IT) and Social Justice and Empowerment
Minister Mukul Wasnik -- and members of Parliamentary
Committee on Defence will also attend the event.

President will sail on INS Saubhadra -- a Sukanya class
patrol vessel -- to review the fleet which will begin with INS
Agray -- an anti-submarine corvette -- offering the first
salute to the Commander-in-Chief. After going around all the warships and vessels the fleet
review will end with the president taking the salute of Navy`s
aircraft carrier INS Viraat. Viraat will be the flagship of
Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma.

For the first time in the history of the PFR, a
warship-carrying an Indian Army officer will be participating.

"INS Kesari will salute the president with Lt General
Naresh Marwah, Commander-in-Chief of the triservice Andaman
and Nicobar Command," Satish said.

The fly-past will be led by the newly inducted MiG-29k
fighters and will be followed by choppers and surveillance
aircraft of the Navy and Coast Guard.
Today, the naval orchestra will also play a special
symphony for the President who is celebrating her birthday.

The PFRs are only next to the Republic Day parade where
the Supreme Commander reviews the combined strength of all the
three services. Inherited from the Royal British Navy, PFR
takes place once during the tenure of a President.

So far nine such reviews, including the International
Fleet Review (IFR) in 2001, have taken place. Dr Rajendra
Prasad reviewed the first PFR in October 1953. In 1956 and
1964, the reviews were carried out by the Shah of Iran and by
then Defence Minister Y B Chavan, respectively.

Presidents Dr Zakir Hussain, N Sanjiva Reddy and Dr
Shankar Dayal Sharma did not review the fleet during their
tenure. The last fleet review was conducted by President A P J
Abdul Kalam in 2006 at the Eastern Sea Board in Visakhapatnam.

PTI