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Indian Navy sends ship to friendly nations in Gulf to boost cooperation

NEW DELHI (PTI):  The Indian Navy has sent its training ship INS Sudarshini to the Gulf region including Iran and Oman as part of its efforts to enhance bilateral maritime cooperation with the friendly navies.

The ship, on a month-long deployment, has already made port calls at Muscat, Dubai and Bandar Abbas besides engaging in professional interactions with the Royal Oman Navy (RNO), UAE Navy and Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) Navy, officials said.

"The ship built at Goa Shipyard Ltd showcased indigenous shipbuilding capabilities and revisited India's historic maritime linkages with the Gulf," the Navy said in a statement.

"The ship, during the deployment, undertook various training exchanges, wherein sail training was imparted to trainees from RNO and IRI Navy and sea sorties conducted," it added.

It said the ship also participated in bilateral maritime partnership exercises with RNO and IRI for enhancing interoperability between the navies.

Separately, Indian Naval ship Kesari entered Port of Maputo, Mozambique on Saturday.

"This is the eighth such deployment in consonance with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of 'Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)' and is being conducted in close coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs, and other agencies of the government of India," the Navy said.

It said these deployments were conducted in solidarity with India's extended maritime neighbourhood. The Navy said, "500 tons of food aid has been shipped by INS Kesari to support the efforts of the government of Mozambique to cope with the ongoing drought and concurrent challenges of the pandemic."

"India also remains committed to supporting the capacity building efforts of the Armed Forces of Mozambique. To this end Kesari is carrying two fast interceptor craft and self-defence equipment to be handed over to the armed forces of Mozambique," it said.

INS Kesari, a landing ship tank (Large)., had undertaken a similar mission in May June 2020 to provide humanitarian and medical assistance to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, including deployment of medical assistance teams of the Indian Navy in multiple locations.

"Since May 2020, the Indian Navy has deployed ships to 15 friendly foreign countries under SAGAR missions," the Navy said.

"These deployments spanned over 215 days at sea have delivered a cumulative assistance of more than 3,000 MT of food aid, over 300 MT LMO (Liquid medical oxygen), 900 oxygen concentrators and 20 ISO containers," it said.

The Navy said while undertaking these missions, Indian Naval ships have traversed a cumulative distance of close to 40,000 nautical miles which it said is "nearly twice the circumference of the earth".

"With a steadfast intent of making such high quantum of humanitarian assistance reach its destination in time, personnel from ships and shore organisations of Indian Navy have invested close to a million man-hours to deliver succour to our friends overseas," it said.


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