In line with the ‘Act East’ policy of India, Indian Navy’s INS Sumitra today arrived in Australia for a three-day visit. INS Sumitra is an offshore patrol vessel that has docked in Sydney for the duration of November 4 to November 7. The visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and enhancing maritime security cooperation between India and Australia.
The INS Sumitra, is the fourth of the Saryu class ships, based on an indigenous design and constructed by Goa Shipyard Ltd. The ship was commissioned in 2014 and has been deployed on multiple operational tasks, the most notable of which is Operation Rahat. This entailed evacuation of personnel of various nationalities from war-torn Yemen in 2015. The ship has a range of 6,500 nautical miles and is capable of embarking one Dhruv/ Chetak helicopter.
During INS Sumitra’s stay in the harbour, various activities have been planned for enhancing cooperation and mutual understanding between the two navies such as official calls, reception on board, ship open to visitors, guided tours for Indian Naval personnel and professional interaction between personnel of both the navies. During the port call, INS Sumitra will also participate in the “Festival of India”. On departure, the ship would also undertake a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with RAN ships (TBC).
“India and Australia have a strong bilateral relationship with growing convergence on economic and strategic issues. Maritime interaction between the two nations has also been steadily growing with the institutionalization of biennial bilateral maritime exercise AUSINDEX, with its inaugural edition being held in Bay of Bengal in 2015. An Indian Navy delegation participated in Ex KAKADU 16 hosted by Australia in Sep 16. The port visit by Sumitra would further strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations and enhance maritime security, cooperation and interoperability between the two Navies,” the Defence Ministry said.