With New Delhi looking to further strengthen its geo political presence in the Bay of Bengal and keeping in line with India’s “Act East Policy”, and “Neighbourhood First Policy”, two Indian Naval ships, INS Kulish and INS Battimalvalong with one Indian Navy Dornier aircraft will visit Yangon from Sept 24-26.
As part of the ongoing bilateral mechanisms between India and Myanmar the Indian ships are going for Opening Ceremony of the 7 th IN-MN (Indian Navy-Myanmar Navy) Coordinated Patrol, which is to maintain maritime security within respective side of maritime boundary and enhance mutual understanding between navies through operational exchange.
According to a report by National Maritime Foundation (NMF) titled: `India and Myanmar: Prospects of Maritime Reciprocity’ Myanmar occupies a central position in India’s geopolitical imperatives in the Bay of Bengal.
Also, with the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between the two countries close to Andaman and Nicobar Islands necessitates an intensive maritime interface, including military ties, the NMF report states.
As has been reported earlier, the two countries during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to that country in 2017, had agreed to work more closely on maritime security and to step up economic cooperation via a port project in western Myanmar. Among the 11 MoUs inked at the time, one was on maritime security and coastal surveillance.
According to an official release from the Indian Embassy, Myanmar, Cdr Deepak Baliis in Command of INS Kulish and heads crew of over 120 personnel on board the third of indigenously manufactured Kora Class Guided Missile Corvettes, commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2001, and presently based at Port Blair. Equipped with multitude of weapons and sensors, the ship is also designed to embark indigenously manufactured Dhruv (ALH) or Chetak helicopter. Commodore Ashutosh Ridhorkar, Naval Component Commander, Port Blair, is onboard INS Kulish.
Commanded by Lieutenant Commander MC Chandeep, with a crew of over 50 personnel is on board INS Battimalvis a Fast Attack Craft with top speed of over 28 knots commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2006. The ship undertakes regular patrolling and surveillance missions in the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands.