Western Naval Command
INS Vikramaditya (R33) with a Sea Harrier.jpg
Country India
Branch Indian Navy
TypeCommand
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra
Commanders
FOC-in-CVice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM[1]
FOCWFRear Admiral Sameer Saxena, NM[2]
FOMARear Admiral Sandeep Mehta, VSM, FOMA[3]

The Western Naval Command is one of the three command–level formations of the Indian Navy.[4] It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. As the senior–most of the three formations,[5] the command is responsible for the all naval forces in the Arabian Sea and western parts of the Indian Ocean and the naval establishments on the west coast of India.

The Command was formed on 1 March 1968.[6] The Command is commanded by a Three Star Flag Officer of the rank of Vice Admiral with the title Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command (FOC-in-C). Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh is the current FOC-in-C WNC, who took over on 30 November 2021.[7]

History

After the independence and the partition of India on 15 August 1947, the ships and personnel of the Royal Indian Navy were divided between the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. The division of the ships was on the basis of two-thirds of the fleet to India, one third to Pakistan.[8] Two new appointments were created, the Rear Admiral Commanding Indian Naval Squadron (RACINS), the commander of the surface fleet of the Navy, and the Commodore-in-Charge Bombay, a one-star officer who headed the shore establishments on the western coast. To bring the service more in line with other navies, on 1 May 1952 the Rear Admiral Commanding Indian Naval Squadron was re-designated Flag Officer Commanding (Flotillas), Indian Fleet,[9]

On 30 December 1957, the office of Flag Officer Commanding (Flotillas) was re-designated Flag Officer Commanding Indian Fleet (FOCIF), while the command of the shore establishments was upgraded to the Two Star appointment of Flag Officer Bombay (FOB) in June 1958.[10] The FOCIF and FOB reported to the Chief of the Naval Staff. On 1 March 1968, the FOB was upgraded to the Three Star of Vice Admiral and was re-designated Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command (FOC-in-C WNC). The Indian Fleet was renamed as Western Fleet with the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (FOCWF) reporting into the FOC-in-C WNC.[11][5]

Area of responsibility

The Western Naval Command (WNC) is the sword arm of the Indian Navy and naval operations conducted on the western seaboard would be central to the outcome of any conflict at sea against Pakistan. The Western Fleet is the two-star level operational formation of the Western Naval Command. It utilises Mumbai and Karwar as its home ports, with INS Kunjali, its HQ in Mumbai. The fleet at the WNC is based under Flag Officer Maharashtra Area (FOMA) and provides naval defence in the sensitive north Arabian Sea adjacent to Pakistan. INS Kadamba, a large naval base, was constructed under Project Seabird and completed in 2005. This naval base, at Karwar in Karnataka, is used exclusively by the Indian Navy.[4]

Capabilities

The Flagship carrier of the Western Fleet is INS Vikramaditya. The WNC is equipped with submarine pens, a carrier dock and main maintenance dockyards. The Carrier Battle Group of the Western Fleet consists of INS Vikramaditya, Delhi class destroyers, Talwar class frigates, Brahmaputra class frigates, INS Kolkata Indian navy's brand new destroyer[12] and Sindhughosh class submarines. The Naval Aviation is provided by MiG-29K fighters along with airborne early warning Kamov Ka-31 Helicopters.

Full-fledged shipbuilding facilities on the western seaboard include the Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai, the Goa Shipyard Limited and the Cochin Shipyard Ltd in Kerala, which is India's largest repair dry dock.

Organization

The Western Naval Command is organized as follows:[13]

Post Current Holder References
Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM [1]
Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, AVSM, VSM [14]
Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet (FOCWF) Rear Admiral Sameer Saxena, NM [15]
Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area Rear Admiral Sandeep Mehta, VSM [16]
Flag Officer Goa Area (FOGA) & Flag Officer Naval Aviation (FONA) Rear Admiral Philipose George Pynumootil, AVSM, NM [17]
Flag Officer Defence Advisory Group (FODAG) Rear Admiral Mahesh Singh, NM [18]
Flag Officer Karnataka Naval Area (FOK) Rear Admiral Atul Anand, VSM [19]
Admiral Superintendent Dockyard (ASD) - Mumbai Rear Admiral K. P. Arvindan, VSM [20]
Commodore Commanding Submarines (West) Rear Admiral R. K. Dhingra [21]

Naval bases

Naval bases under Western Naval Command are the following[22]

Base City State/Territory Role
INS Dwarka Okha Gujarat Logistics and Maintenance support
INS Sardar Patel[23] Porbandar Logistics Support
INS Kadamba Karwar Karnataka Logistics and Maintenance support
INS Vajrakosh Naval ammunition and missile depot
INHS Patanjali Naval Hospital
INS Gomantak Vasco da gama Goa Logistics and Maintenance support
INS Hansa Dabolim Naval Air Station
INHS Jeevanti Vasco-da-gama Naval Hospital
INS Angre Mumbai Maharashtra Logistics and Administrative support
INS Abhimanyu MARCOS base
INS Agnibahu Missile boat squadron base
INHS Asvini Naval Hospital
INS Kunjali Naval Air Station
INS Shikra Naval Air Station
INS Tanaji Naval ammunition depot
INS Trata Coastal Missile Defense
INS Tunir Naval missile depot
INS Vajrabahu Submarine base

List of Commanders

Rank Name Appointment Date Left Office Notes References
Commodore-in-Charge Bombay (COMBAY)
Commodore Henry Richmond Inigo-Jones 15 August 1947 31 December 1950 Formerly Royal Indian Navy. [24]
R. M. T. Taylor 31 December 1950 March 1954 Seconded from the Royal Navy [25]
Ajitendu Chakraverti March 1954 16 November 1954 First Indian to hold the appointment. [26]
Adhar Kumar Chatterji 17 November 1954 November 1956 Later served as Chief of the Naval Staff. [27]
Bhaskar Sadashiv Soman November 1956 12 June 1958 Later served as Chief of the Naval Staff. [28][10]
Flag Officer Bombay (FOB)
Rear Admiral Bhaskar Sadashiv Soman 12 June 1958 April 1960 Later Chief of the Naval Staff. [29]
S. G. Karmarkar June 1960 June 1964 [30][31]
R. S. David June 1964 15 February 1968 [32][33]
Sardarilal Mathradas Nanda 16 February 1968 1 March 1968 Later Chief of the Naval Staff. [32]
Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command (FOC-in-C WNC)
Vice Admiral Sardarilal Mathradas Nanda 1 March 1968 28 February 1970 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff [34][35]
Nilakanta Krishnan 28 February 1970 12 February 1971 [36]
Sourendra Nath Kohli 12 February 1971 27 February 1973 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff [37]
Jal Cursetji 27 February 1973 28 February 1976 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff [38][39]
Ronald Lynsdale Pereira 28 February 1976 5 April 1977 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff [40][41]
Rustom K. S. Ghandhi April 1977 3 March 1979 [42]
V. E. C. Barboza 3 March 1979 March 1981 [43]
Manohar Prahlad Awati March 1981 30 March 1983 [44][45][46]
Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani 31 March 1983 30 April 1984 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff [47]
Subimal Mookerjee 30 April 1984 28 February 1986 [48][49]
S Jain 28 February 1986 31 December 1990 [50][51]
H. Johnson 1 January 1991 31 August 1992 [52]
KASZ Raju 31 August 1992 31 December 1994 [53]
Vishnu Bhagwat 31 December 1994 30 September 1996 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff. [54][55]
K K Kohli [51]
Madhvendra Singh 1 April 1998 31 March 2001 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff, and as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee [56][57]
Vinod Pasricha 1 April 2001 31 December 2002 [58]
Arun Prakash 1 January 2003 30 September 2003 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff, and as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee [59][60]
Madanjit Singh 1 October 2003 28 February 2006 [61][62]
Sangram Singh Byce 1 March 2006 31 July 2007 [63][61]
Jagjit Singh Bedi 1 August 2007 30 April 2009 [64][65]
Sanjeev Bhasin 1 May 2009 30 April 2012 [66]
Devendra Kumar Joshi 1 May 2012 31 August 2012 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff. Current Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. [67]
Sekhar Sinha 1 September 2012 31 May 2014 Retired from the Navy after being superseded. [68]
Anil Kumar Chopra 1 June 2014 31 March 2015 [69]
Surinder Pal Singh Cheema 1 April 2015 31 January 2016 Also headed the Strategic Forces Command and the Southern Naval Command, apart from serving as the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff. [70][71]
Sunil Lanba 1 February 2016 31 May 2016 Later served as Chief of Naval Staff, and as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee [72]
Girish Luthra 1 June 2016 31 January 2019 [73][74]
Ajit Kumar P 1 February 2019 28 February 2021 [75]
R. Hari Kumar 28 February 2021 29 November 2021 Current Chief of Naval Staff [76]
Ajendra Bahadur Singh 30 November 2021 Incumbent [1]

See also

References

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  75. ^ @indiannavy (31 January 2019). "VAdm P Ajit Kumar PVSM, AVSM, VSM takes over as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, the premier Command of #IndianNavy in an impressive ceremony at Mumbai. Returns where he has commanded two frontline Destroyers + stealth frigate & was Chief Staff Offr (Ops)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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