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Indian Navy to showcase rising combat prowess, 'Atmanirbharta', Nari-Shakti at R-Day parade

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Navy will project its military might and firm resolve to safeguard the nation's strategic interests in the maritime domain at the Republic Day parade, amid growing global concerns over the escalating tensions in the Red Sea.

The naval tableau at the parade at Kartavya Path on January 26 will also showcase the Navy's "unwavering" commitment to 'Nari Shakti' with an overarching focus on women in all roles and across all ranks, officials said on Wednesday.

The contingent of the Indian Navy will have three women platoon commanders – Lt Mudita Goyal, Lt Sharvani Supreiya and Lt Devika H.

For the first time, the Navy will have a mixed composition with 144 young men and women marching down the historic Kartavya path reflecting its commitment towards gender neutrality, the officials said.

The naval tableau will depict the first fully indigenous Carrier Battle Group, comprising aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, her highly capable escort ships Delhi, Kolkata, Shivalik, and Kalvari-class submarine besides Light Combat Aircraft as well as Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).

The tableau will also feature multi-band military communications satellite GSAT-7 and Rukmani satellite.

Vice Admiral Gurcharan Singh, the Navy's controller of personnel services, said the naval contingent's participation at the parade would not just be a display of military might, but "would also reflect a resolve to safeguard the nation's strategic interests".

The Vice Admiral told journalists that the tableau will also display the Navy's commitment to 'Aatmanirbharta' (self-reliance) in defence as well as its focus on gender neutrality.

At present, the Navy has 680 women officers and it has recruited 1,119 women Agniveers so far.

"Our tableau this year encapsulates the narrative of a Navy that is not only safeguarding the maritime frontiers but also shaping a future where self-reliance and the empowerment of every individual irrespective of gender, are paramount," Singh said.

"It stands as a resounding affirmation of India's maritime prowess and the inclusive strides taken in the journey towards a self-reliant and equitable nation," he said.

The Navy has already deployed 10-12 warships in the strategic waters including the Arabian Sea following a spate of attacks on commercial vessels in the region as well as Houthi militants targeting various ships.

Singh said the central theme of the naval tableau revolves around 'Aatmanirbharta' showcasing indigenous milestones achieved by "Bharat".

As on date, out of 66 ships and submarines currently under construction, 64 are being built at Indian shipyards.

"The main portion of the tableau features the first ever completely indigenous carrier battle group (CBG), with INS Vikrant being the strongest symbol of our nation's vision, forming the core," the Vice Admiral said.

"As you are aware, the CBG is meant to project maritime power in our area of interest. INS Vikrant would be supported by powerful combatants like Kolkata, Delhi and Shivalik class of ships which are capable of dealing with multi-dimensional threats," he said.

"Kalvari class submarine would be operating in tandem. This CBG would be supported by ISRO's Rukmani satellite. Kolkata class ships INS Kolkata, INS Kochi and INS Chennai are now deployed in the Arabian Sea for anti-piracy operations," he said.

INS Chennai was recently involved in an operation that foiled the piracy attack on merchant vessel MV Lila Norfolk off the Somalian coast.

"In the marching contingent, the Navy is parading a mixed composition platoon for the first time, wherein 144 young men and women will be marching down the historic Kartavya Path, shoulder to shoulder epitomising Navy's commitment towards gender neutrality," he said.

The naval contingent will be led by Lt Prajwal.

"The front portion of the tableau depicts Nari Shakti, emphasising the role of women in the Indian Navy with progressive induction in all ranks and all roles which is unique among all the services," Vice Admiral Singh said.

"It shall also portray the Indian Navy emerging as a strong and cohesive institution embracing gender neutrality," he said.

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