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INS Sudarshini begins 9-nation voyage

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INS Sudarshini is a follow-on class of INS Tarangini (in pic). An Indian Navy photo.

CHENNAI (PTI): Aiming to cement ties between India and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), "INS Sudarshini", a sail training ship, began its journey from here on Saturday on a nine nation voyage.

Director General Naval Projects Visakhapatnam, DGNP(V) Vice Admiral V K Namballa flagged off the ship, manned by five officers, 31 sailors, 30 Naval and Coast Guard cadets, from the Chennai Port Trust on Saturday.

INS Sudarshini has been launched as India's goodwill ambassador at sea to cement her ties with the ASEAN countries, an official release said.

During its journey, the ship would call on 13 foreign ports across nine nations to bolster friendship across the seas.

The ship would take the ancient route of Indian mariners to South East Asia, it said, adding during its journey, the ship would spend a total of 127 days before berthing back at Kochi on March 29, 2013.

The ship would take on board two foreign trainees at each port who will disembark on the next port, laying the ground for the strengthening of bilateral relations.

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