In pursuit of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and to enhance military cooperation with friendly countries, a Task Force of Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet is scheduled to proceed on an Overseas Deployment to South East Asia, the South China Sea and Western Pacific from early Aug 2021 for over two months. The deployment of the Indian Navy ships seeks to underscore the operational reach, peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen existing bonds between India and countries of the Indo Pacific.
The Indian Naval task group comprises Guided Missile Destroyer Ranvijay, Guided Missile Frigate Shivalik, Anti-Submarine Corvette Kadmatt and Guided Missile Corvette Kora. The latter three ships are indigenously designed and are equipped with a versatile array of weapons and sensors, and are Made in India by Defence Shipyards.
During the deployment in the Indo Pacific, the ships are scheduled to participate in bilateral exercises with Vietnamese Peoples’ Navy, Republic of Philippines Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy (SIMBEX), Indonesian Navy (Samudra Shakti) and Royal Australian Navy (AUS-INDEX). Further, they would also participate in multilateral exercise MALABAR-21 alongside the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force, Royal Australian Navy and the United States Navy in Western Pacific.
The Indian Navy undertakes regular deployments to friendly foreign countries and Indian and the Pacific Ocean regions in furtherance of the Prime Minister’s initiative of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region – SAGAR’. Further, such engagements build ‘Bridges of Friendship’ and strengthen international cooperation. These maritime initiatives enhance synergy and coordination between the Indian Navy and friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and commitment towards Freedom of Navigation at sea. Besides regular port calls, the task group will operate in conjunction with friendly navies, to build military relations and develop interoperability in the conduct of maritime operations.