Anil Chopra to take over as Western Naval Command chief

Pune : Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, the second seniormost officer of the Indian Navy, will Friday take over as commander-in-chief of the Western Naval Command, an official said.

Chopra was commander-in-chief of the Eastern Naval Command since October 2011 and oversaw the induction of major combat platforms, including three Shivalik Class stealth frigates, nuclear submarine INS Chakra, P-81 Long Range Reconnaissance Aircraft, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft as well as other major growth in the force’s infrastructure.

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He will become only the second officer ever to head both the operational commands of the Indian navy.

Prior to his posting as Eastern Naval Command chief, Chopra was the Director General, Indian Coast Guard, and had taken charge just a few days after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

During his tenure, the organisation witnessed an exponential increase in both its force levels and operational deployments.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Pune, Chopra was commissioned into the navy in July 1975 and has studied at Defence Services Staff College, Naval War College and National Defence College.

Over the years, his important assignments included command of missile corvette INS Kuthar, destroyer INS Rajput and aircraft carrier INS Viraat as well as service as commander of the navy’s sword arm, the Western Fleet, in 2008.

He has also done stints as principal director, Naval Plans at naval headquarters in Delhi and as naval assistant to the navy chief.

In the mid-1980s, Chopra was posted to Rome for the induction of combat systems for the Indian navy’s frontline units and later spent a year in Washington as a senior fellow at the United States Atlantic Council.