The highlight of the International Fleet Review 2016 was the naval’s operational demo which was scheduled to start at 17:30 hrs and last for about 30 minutes. Once I reached the spot around 1pm, the entire sea was clear, no boats, no ships nothing. Just an empty sea with waves gushing past the rocks. The operational demo was one of the closing events of the International Fleet Review 2016. I had read about it one their website that it would display fighter jets, bombings etc. and so I was excited to witness it. The program started the moment the delegates including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, the Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and the Naval Admiral took their seats in the special enclosure set up. Now I’ll write about how things unfolded as this fantastico show kicked off.
The show started with three Indian Navy chopper flying over the RK beach with the Indian Flag, Flag of the Indian navy and the flag of the International Fleet review. These choppers zoomed from the Vizag port side and were headed towards Rushikonda beach.
At the same time we saw the huge warships at the horizon entering the sea. Among those, there were 2 air craft carriers, and I guess they were INS Vikramaditya and INS Viraat. Apart from that there were other smaller warships getting aligned on the sea.Once this was over we saw 3 MIGs flying in from the sea towards the city and then going up and away in three directions. Frankly they were so fast, by the time i could spot them they were literally out of the picture.
Next there was a display of marine commando operations on the beach in front of the VIP enclosure. Since I was way too far from the spot, I saw it on the big screen only. There were two tanks with commandos showing some action. Just after this there was a huge blast at one of the spots and thick, dark smoke covered the entire sky. The best part was the circular ring the smoke formed in the sky.
Post this we had a MIG fighter jet doing a loop along with some fantastico aerobatic moves. Going sky high and then nose diving. it was simply brilliant. The jet was flying at very high speed that it was tough to spot it. It was the noise that helped the crowd to spot the aircraft.
Then there were a couple of fighter jets that took off from the aircraft carrier and were chasing each other. It was a fantastico sight as it was a clear, open sky with a silent sea. during the same time a MIG fighter jet flew past at a very low height. It was so close to the land that if you threw a ball at it, it would definitely hit the aircarft. The sound of the jet was thunderous, this was the best of the lot !
After this there were a couple of fighter jets that fired some rounds from the machine gun on board. Another demonstration had the two fighter jets flying and dropping bombs on the sea. The view was spectacular definitely worth the visit !
The International Fleet Review 2016, operational demo ended with all the warships lighting up and shooting colorful lights in the sky and making the sky look fantastico. There were fireworks all around as the entire sky lit up and it was a fabuluous sight.
So that was definitely an action packed Operational Demonstration by the Navy. Definitely lived up to my expectations. Those mighty aircraft carriers, those swift hover crafts and the lightening fast fighter jets were the highlights of the show. This was a great fantastico event and it was the first of its kind that I got to witness live.