With India stepping up its Act East Policy, enhancing security ties with key countries in the region is acquiring greater salience in New Delhi’s foreign policy matrix. Indonesia is the latest focus of this emphasis on security cooperation with two Indian Navy warships heading to the Southeast Asian country to foster interoperability between two naval forces.
The two warships, INS Shakti (a fleet tanker and support ship) of the Indian Navy’s Western fleet, commanded by Captain Vikram Menon, and INS Ranvir, (a guided missile destroyer) commanded by Captain Jaswinder Singh, will be stationed there for four days, following which they will engage in a navel exercise with the Indonesian Navy. The aim of the exercise is to develop cooperation in maritime operation, search and rescue.
These ships will also engage in various other operations, including professional interaction between the two navies, official call-ons, and hosting of a reception onboard.
These two ships, along with INS Satpura (an indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate) and INS Kamorta (an indigenously built anti-submarine corvette), have been deployed in the Southeast Asia and southern Indian Ocean to undertake several naval operations with different countries in the region.
Earlier, the warships of the Indian Navy Western Fleet participated in the bilateral navel exercise with SIMBEX with Singapore. And After Indonesia, these ships will also visit Kuantan (Malaysia), Sattahip (Thailand), Sihanoukville (Cambodia) and Freemantle (Australia) to engage in several defence exercises.
With a renewed focus on maritime regions globally, and the new government in Delhi ramping up its maritime strategy, the time seems ripe to shore up cooperation on naval fronts with countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
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