In pursuance of India’s ‘Act East’ policy, Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri, currently on operational deployment to North West Pacific region and South China Sea, entered on 14 Oct 15 at Sagami Bay, Japan. The ship will participate in the International Fleet Review organised by the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). It will also undertake professional interactions in harbour as well as exercises at sea with the JMSDF.
India and Japan have historic cultural links, dating back to the 9th Century A.D. These have led to a natural affinity between the Indian and Japanese people. In August 2000, both countries established a ‘Global Partnership in the 21st Century’ and held the first ‘Comprehensive Security Dialogue’ in 2001. India and Japan instituted the Defence Policy Dialogue in 2007 and the Maritime Affairs Dialogue in 2013. As part of their growing maritime interaction, India and Japan have commenced the JIMEX series of bilateral maritime exercises, in 2012 off Yokosuka and in 2013 off Chennai. The JMSDF is also likely to participate in the International Fleet Review 2016, scheduled to be held in February 2016, off the East Coast of India.
The visit of INS Sahyadri is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and enhancing inter-operability between navies of the two countries. IN ships had last visited Sasebo, Japan in July 2014. INS Sahyadri is an indigenously built warship of the Shivalik Class. Inducted into the Indian Navy on 21 July 12, the multi-role stealth frigate, boasts of an impressive array of weaponry in her arsenal. Long range anti-ship missiles, medium and short range surface to air missiles augmented by powerful guns of different calibres provide a formidable shield against all types of surface and air threats. The capability to carry two integral multi-role helicopters significantly enhances the potency of this ship. INS Sahyadri, is presently being commanded by Captain Kunal Singh Rajkumar.
During her stay in harbour, the ship will participate in the International Fleet Review being conducted by JMSDF. In addition, various activities aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two navies are planned. These include official calls on local naval and civilian dignitaries, reception on board INS Sahyadri, visits to the ship by the local populace, guided tours for Indian Naval personnel and professional interaction between personnel of both the navies.
The ship had earlier visited Da Nang, Vietnam on the way to Sagami Bay, Japan. On departure from Japan, the ship will visit ports in the Republic of Korea and the Philippines.