Seniormost naval officer and fighter pilot Vice Admiral Sureesh Mehta was on Friday named as the country's new Chief of Naval Staff.
Mehta, currently Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command, will assume the new post on October 31, on retirement of the present Chief Admiral Arun Prakash, according to a defence ministry announcement.
Born on August 18, 1947, Mehta, an alumnus of National Defence Academy, has held many prestigious onboard and staff appointments including having commanded the Western Fleet, the sword arm of the navy during Operation Parakaram.
An aviator like the present chief, Mehta has extensively operated from aircraft carriers, including INS Vikrant. Promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in 1995, the new chief has served as Flag Officer Goa area.
In the rank of Vice Admiral, Mehta has served as Director General of Coast Guard and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.