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Modi reviews impressive naval exercise after tri-services meet

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A surface-to-surface missile being fired by missile boat INS Nirghat during the Operational Demonstration off the Kochi coast in Kerala on Dec. 15, 2015. An Indian Navy photo

KOCHI (PTI): An impressive array of warships, including nuclear capable submarines, and about 8000 men and officers of Indian Navy presented an exquisite display of operational capabilities in an exercise reviewed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi off the Kochi coast in Kerala on Tuesday.

Having chaired the Combined Commanders Conference, an annual tri-services event held for the first time outside New Delhi onboard INS Vikramaditya, the Prime Minister reviewed the exercise about 50 km off the coast where the naval guns blazed and fighter jets roared in a dazzling display of India's military might.

The annual event, held against an operational backdrop of the high seas for the first time, was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, secretaries of the government of India besides top tri-services commanders.

"Indian Navy displayed its Naval as well as air power capabilities during the approximately 40 to 45 minute (exercise). Ships of the Navy were there including submarines, as also aircraft, and about 8000 plus men of Indian Navy participated as part of the exercise," a Defence spokesman said.

He said it was the Prime Minister's Office which wanted the tri-services meet to be held in an operational setting.

"So it was moved out of the South Block and it is a reality today. It is now going to be from operational backdrops to operational backdrops," he said.

After Prime Minister Modi had chaired the meet onboard INS Vikramaditya which lasted for about an-hour-and-half, he reviewed the exercise that began with firing by naval guns followed by a rocket-fire demonstration.

"We had 30 plus ships outside, which included INS Vikramaditya, Virat, Kochi, Delhi, Mysore....," the Defence spokesman said.

"Then we had nuclear submarine INS Chakra... ...We had 60 aircraft of the Naval Aviation ranging from one end of the spectrum to other end. We also showcased the actual operations of MiG-29K from INS Vikramaditya. A number of sorties were taken off, one from the larger runway -- that is 195 meters and one from the 100 meter runway," he said.

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