Soon new Advanced Training Vessel for naval cadets

Army Chief General VK Singh, an alumnus of the 36th course of NDA, is slated to review the passing out parade of the academy on May 30.

Pune: As part of its training upgradation programme to hone skills of naval cadets, the National Defence Academy is all set to acquire an advanced training vessel (ATV), considered smaller version of a warship.

The vessel, costing around Rs one crore is expected to give the naval cadets at the country`s premiere defence institute at Khadakwasla, a "real life experience" of operating on a warship as it would be mounted with a radar and other equipment.

"The ATV is expected to arrive soon as part of the NDA infrastructure upgradation programme," Lt Gen Jatinder Singh, Commandant, NDA, told mediapersons here.

Peacock Bay in the Khadakwasla dam, which is the training base for naval cadets of NDA, will be home for ATV.

Not to lag behind, NDA`s Air Force training team (AFTT) too is poised to get five more Super Dimona aircraft shortly, possibly by the end of this month.

Elaborating on the upgradation programme, Lt Gen Singh said, "The AFTT will soon acquire five more Super Dimona aircraft which is expected to greatly enhance the training of Air Force cadets."

Regarding upgradation on academic front, NDA authorities are currently considering a plan to replace its science degree course with an engineering course focusing on military specialisation in near future.

"The shift from science to engineering degree is necessitated in order to keep pace with rapid changes in the field of higher and technical education," the Commandant noted. The specially designed four year engineering course being worked out with Pune university, will focus on emerging technologies to meet requirements of the defence services.

Meanwhile, the passing out parade this year for NDA`s 122nd course, will see as many as 362 cadets including 22 from friendly countries graduating from the academy which grooms officers for the three services.

The NDA is currently training a total of 2,063 cadets in 18 squadron including 73 from Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Maldives.

On recent reports about NDA being on terrorists` radar, Lt Gen Singh said, "We are alert and alive to the situation and necessary steps have been taken to deal with the concerns relating to the academy`s security."

Army Chief General VK Singh, an alumnus of the 36th course of NDA, is slated to review the passing out parade of the academy on May 30 in one of his last assignments before his retirement on May 31.