| NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 1: With five months to go for the American warship USS Trenton to join the Indian fleet, the Navy has proposed that the amphibious vessel be rechristened INS Jalashva ? Sanskrit for Sea Horse ? when it is commissioned in March next year. Still to be approved by President APJ Abdul Kalam, the name was prioritised as the Navy?s top choice among a few others by just retired Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash.
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The other two large amphibious ships in the Navy are INS Magar (crocodile) and INS Gharial (another reptile from the crocodile family). From a list of names, Jalashva was ticked by the former Navy Chief before the file was sent to Rashtrapati Bhavan, sources said. The USS Trenton, with the motto ?No Greater Gator? was commissioned in 1971 and named after the capital of New Jersey state.
The 17,000-ton warship, likely to be based at Visakhapatnam under the Eastern Naval Command, will be the Navy?s second largest vessel after aircraft carrier INS Viraat, which itself will move to second place in size when the Russian aircraft carrier rechristened INS Vikramaditya is commissioned in late 2008.
The Navy got its first taste of American amphibious warfare equipment when it exercised with the US Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), a task force that included the USS Boxer, Washington?s amphibious flagship, off the Goa coast this week.
About the Trenton, the new Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta yesterday said, ?It brings about a different dimension to our fighting capabilities. We will have a capability to influence the land battle with long-range weapons and the ability to transport large numbers of people from one place to another.?
The Navy is also in negotiations to purchase six H-3 Sea King maritime utility transport helicopters for operations off the Trenton?s deck.