Durban welcomes the Indian Navy warships #INSKolkata, #INSTrukans and #INSAditya to South African shores.
The 3 day visit of the fleet is a a demonstration of India’s commitment to growing defense ties with South Africa and to the maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
The recently concluded visit of the Indian PM Narendra Modi provided fresh impetus to the relationship between the two countries. Co-operation in the field of defence, especially maritime security and training has been identified as a key avenue for promoting such ties.
INS Kolkata is the lead ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy. The ship was officially commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a ceremony held on 16 August 2014 after completion of sea trials.
PM Narendra Modi said of the ship: “INS Kolkata is entirely built in India and it is a symbol of our self-reliance.”
The Indian Naval Ships Kolkata, Trikand and Aditya are under the Command of the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh. The ships are part of the Western Naval Command and are on a two month long deployment to the Western Indian Ocean.
The warships will have professional interactions with the South African Naval Forces (SAN) for enhancing co-operation and sharing the nuances of naval operations including combating maritime threats of terrorism and piracy.
Calls on senior Government and military authorities, training and technical cooperation measures with SAN, sporting and cultural interactions, aimed at strengthening ties and mutual understanding between the two forces, are also planned. The frequent cross visits by high level delegations including the Heads of State have further strengthened the bilateral relations.
The last visit by an Indian Naval ship to South Africa was in November 2014, when Indian Naval Ship Teg made port call at Simon’s Town and Cape Town as part of Exercise IBSAMAR, a trilateral maritime exercise involving navies of Brazil, India and South Africa. The South African Naval forces (SAN) also participated in International Fleet Review hosted by India in February 2016 and was represented by SAN ship Spioenkop.
The current visit seeks to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and South Africa and underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries of the region.