President Ram Nath Kovind recalled the glorious contribution of INS Vikrant during the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971

Indian Naval Aviation was presented with the President's Colour by President Ram Nath Kovind, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, on Monday.

This is the highest honour bestowed on a military unit in recognition of its exceptional service to the nation, both in peace and in war.

The President’s Colour was presented at a ceremony at INS Hansa in Goa. To mark the occasion, a ceremonial parade with a 150-men Guard of Honour was presented to the President.

According to the Ministry of Defence, award of the President’s Colour is testimony to the high professional standards and stellar operations performance of Naval Aviation, which has distinguished itself in service to the nation.

Naval Aviation has distinguished itself with notable and gallant service to our Nation over the past seven decades, the ministry added.

During his address, President Kovind recalled the glorious contribution of INS Vikrant with its integral aircraft, which played a crucial role in liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.

The President added that naval aircraft have also been at the forefront of numerous peacetime as well as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, providing relief not only to Indians but also to friendly foreign nations.

President Kovind also lauded the indigenisation efforts of the Indian Navy in keeping with the Atma Nirbhar Bharat vision of the Government.

He made a mention of the significant progress made in aviation technology, facilitation of state-of-the-art indigenous weapons, sensors and data suites for Naval aircraft.

On May 27, 1951, the Indian Navy became the first Indian armed force unit to receive the President’s Colour. It was presented by Dr Rajendra Prasad, the then President of India.

Subsequent recipients of the President’s Colour in the Navy include Southern Naval Command, Eastern Naval Command, Western Naval Command, Eastern Fleet, Western Fleet, Submarine Arm, INS Shivaji and the Indian Naval Academy.

Naval Aviation came into being with acquisition of the first Sealand aircraft on 13 Jan 1951 and commissioning of INS Garuda, at Kochi on May 11, 1953.

Today, Naval Aviation has nine Air Stations and three Naval Air Enclaves along the Indian coastline and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Over the past seven decades, it has transformed into a modern, technologically advanced and highly potent force, the ministry of defence noted.

It has more than 250 aircraft comprising Fighters, Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft, Helicopters and Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). Today, Naval Aviation assets are capable of undertaking missions along the entire gamut of military operations.

The defence ministry pointed out that Naval Aviation is a vital component of the main roles of Indian Navy - Military, Diplomatic, Constabulary and Benign.