Indian Navy flexes muscle, sends 3 ships for deployment in disputed South China Sea : The Tribune India

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Indian Navy flexes muscle, sends 3 ships for deployment in disputed South China Sea

Indian Navy flexes muscle, sends 3 ships for deployment in disputed South China Sea

An Indian warship in Singapore. Courtesy: MoD



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7

The Indian Navy has started operational deployment of its fleet in the disputed waters of the South China Sea (SCS), with three of its warships — INS Delhi, INS Shakti and INS Kiltan — arriving in Singapore yesterday.

Guarding Troubled waters

  • INS Delhi, INS Shakti & INS Kiltan reach Singapore as part of ‘operational deployment’ of Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet in South China Sea, says MoD
  • China illegally claims vast portions of the SCS, but these are contested by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia & Taiwan
  • Chinese & Philippine ships are currently at loggerheads over claims by both nations over Second Thomas Shoal in the SCS
  • While the MoD has not specified whether the three ships will join patrols of any country, reports say these will head to Malaysia and then Philippines

“The visit is part of the ‘operational deployment’ of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet to the South China sea,” the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said today.

The MoD did not specify which all countries the ships would visit, or if the Indian Navy would join patrols of countries such as the US or Japan in the SCS. A PTI report, however, stated these would leave for Malaysia on Thursday and then visit the Philippines.

China illegally claims vast portions of the SCS as its own. The same is contested by five other countries — the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan — that are in a maritime territorial dispute with Beijing.

The three warships have diverse roles at sea. While INS Delhi is a guided missile destroyer equipped with BrahMos missile among other weapon systems, 3,500-tonne INS Kiltan is a specialist anti-submarine warfare corvette that carries four heavyweight torpedo launchers and boasts of a highly advanced combat management system. INS Shakti is a fleet support ship that can carry fuel, water and supplies for mid-sea transfer to another ship.

The warships were accorded a warm welcome by personnel of the Republic of Singapore Navy and the High Commissioner of India upon their arrival in the country.

A delegation led by Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankhar today visited the Information Fusion Centre there. “They held deliberations on current maritime security landscape in the region and ways to mitigate emergent threats,” the Navy posted on X.

The Navy said the visit was poised to further strengthen the longstanding friendship and cooperation between the two maritime nations through a series of engagements and activities.

During the ships’ stay in harbour, various activities planned to be undertaken include interactions with the High Commission of India, professional interactions with the Republic of Singapore Navy as also academia and community outreach amongst other activities, reflecting the shared values of both navies.

The Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy have had robust relations spanning three decades of cooperation, coordination and collaboration with regular visits, exchange of best practices, and reciprocal training arrangements.

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#China #Indian Navy


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