The long-delayed aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya was the main attraction of this year's naval tableau in the Republic Day parade.
Along with a scaled-down model of 45,000 tonne Russian-origin aircraft carrier, Navy also put on display the models of nuclear-capable submarine INS Chakra during the parade.
"In keeping with Indian Navy's theme for this year 'Indian Navy–Maritime Power for National Prosperity', the Naval tableau depicts a scaled down model of Vikramaditya, a large aircraft carrier which will join the naval fleet by end of this year," Indian Navy officials said.
India and Russia had signed a USD 947 million deal for INS Vikramaditya in 2004. The deal amount was revised later to USD 2.3 billion. The Kiev-class ship was scheduled to have reached Indian shores in 2008, but its delivery has been delayed since then.
The aircraft carrier was subjected to extensive trials for the first time for 108 days from June to September, 2012.
The 284 meters long and 51 meters wide vessel is equipped to carry over 30 combat aircraft at any time. It is capable of sustaining at the sea for 45 days at a stretch.
The Naval contingent consisting of 144 men and three Platoon Commanders Lt Arnab Pal, Sub Lt Bidisha Pandey and Lt Rohit Khatri, will be led by Lt Cdr Ajay Kumar Verma.
"For the first time in the history of the Republic Day Parade, the Naval marching contingent is represented by the Sea Warriors from INS Chilka who incidentally had joined Indian Navy, just about six months ago," they said.
Giving them company was a 81-member Naval band playing the tune 'Jai Bharti'.
Jan 26, 2013