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Kalam's sortie in INS Sindhurakshak

Special Correspondent

First-ever Indian Head of State to sail in a submarine



MAKING WAVES: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam onboard INS Sindhurakshak at Visakhapatnam on Monday as ENC Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Sureesh Mehta (left) looks on. - Photo: K.R. Deepak

VISAKHAPATNAM: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam created history by becoming the first Indian Head of the State to sail in a submarine.

He went on a sortie in INS Sindhurakshak in the Bay of Bengal for a few hours on Monday. He boarded the submarine after presenting the President's Colour to the Eastern Fleet.

``It is my first experience (to sail in a submarine underwater) and I have learnt how the silent force of the Indian Navy functions when it is underwater,'' Dr. Kalam told reporters after the submarine sortie.

The functioning and duties of the submarine were demonstrated to the President. Dr. Kalam said the demonstration showcased how capable and tough the Navy was when the enemy wanted to test the country's capabilities.

Challenging experience

``Success comes if we work vary hard in the midst of challenges. I experienced the challenges the submarine faces to make our country powerful,'' he observed.

INS Sindhurakshak was commanded by Senior Officer Srivastav.

Later, the President took salute at a march-past by the contingents and the Navy Band.

Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju, Minister of State for Defence Production Rao Inderjit Singh, Chief of Indian Navy Arun Prakash and others were present.

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