Western Fleet ships on goodwill visit to African nations
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Last Updated: Friday, August 20, 2010, 15:20
Mumbai: Four Indian warships INS Mysore, Tabar, Ganga and Aditya have been deployed on a goodwill visit to several maritime nations of Africa and South Indian Ocean.

The warships will be exercising with the navies/Coast Guard of Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Seychelles and Mauritius besides making port calls at Reunion and Mozambique, a defence spokesperson said.

Wide-ranging professional discussions and a number of sports and social engagements will take place with the host navies whilst in harbour, and will thereafter be followed up with naval exercises at sea, he said.

The visit will also include the biennial naval exercise 'IBSAMAR' between the navies of India, Brazil and South Africa. The exercises are meant to promote greater interoperability and foster synergy between the Indian Navy and other participating navies.

The Indian Navy has already been conducting formalised exercises annually with several foreign navies since the past several years, such as the 'Varuna' series with the French Navy, the 'Indra' series with the Russian Navy and the 'Konkan' series with UK's Royal Navy.

The professional skills and experiences exchanged during these interactions would go a long way in enhancing co-operation and understanding the nuances of naval operations as well as disaster management and combating maritime threats of terrorism and piracy, he said.

The visit also seeks to demonstrate the Indian Navy's 'blue water' capability to deploy, operate and sustain a maritime Task Force well away from home for an extended duration.

The current interaction will feature advanced aspects of naval warfare, including anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine operations.

The visiting ships are part of the Navy's Western Fleet under the Western Naval Command and are based at Mumbai. The Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral RK Pattanaik, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, who is flying his flag on the guided missile destroyer, INS Mysore.

Over the last decades, India has made substantial advances in terms of designing and building warships indigenously, the spokesperson said.

Three of these four ships have been designed by the 'Design Bureau' of the Indian Navy and built at the public sector shipyards, namely, the Mazagon Dockyard Limited (Mumbai) and the Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers Limited (Kolkata).

Destroyer INS Mysore and the frigates INS Tabar and INS Ganga are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, while the replenishment ship INS Aditya is capable of sustaining the warships for prolonged durations at sea.

India's naval assets have been increasingly involved in the region's maritime issues, such as Hydrographic survey, Search and Rescue, anti-piracy and also in providing humanitarian assistance.


First Published: Friday, August 20, 2010, 15:20

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