Four Indian warships have been deployed on a goodwill visit to several maritime nations of Africa, an official said in Mumbai on Friday.
“INS Mysore, INS Tabar, INS Ganga and INS Aditya are on their way to a goodwill visit and will engage with several navy forces during the visit,” the official said.
“Wide-ranging professional discussions and a number of sports and social engagements will take place with the host navy forces while in harbour, and will thereafter be followed up with naval exercises at sea,” he added.
The warships will be exercising with the navy forces and Coast Guard of Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, the Seychelles and Mauritius besides making port calls at Reunion and Mozambique.
“The exercises are meant to promote greater inter-operability and foster synergy between the Indian Navy and other participating navy forces,” the official said.
The Indian Navy has already been conducting formalised exercises annually with several foreign naval forces for the past several years. The Varuna series with the French Navy, the Indra series with the Russian Navy and the Konkan series with the Royal Navy (UK) have been a success.
“The professional skills and experiences exchanged during these interactions would go a long way in enhancing cooperation and understanding the nuances of naval operations as well as disaster management and combating maritime threats of terrorism and piracy,” the official said.
“Such interactions have been hugely successful in the past as is evident from the growing scale of complexity of the exercises each year. Having initially involved only basic operations, the current interaction will feature advanced aspects of naval warfare, including anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine operations,” he added.
The visiting ships are part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet under the Western Naval Command and are based in Mumbai. The Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral R.K. Pattanaik, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, who is flying his flag on the guided missile destroyer, INS Mysore.
The destroyer INS Mysore and the frigates INS Tabar and INS Ganga are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, while the replenishment ship INS Aditya is capable of sustaining the warships for prolonged durations at sea.