In pursuit of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and outreach to friendly countries, the Indian Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Sumitra, has reached Darwin, Australia today (06 Dec 16). The ship on a three day visit from 06-09 Dec 16, is on her return passage to India after participating in the Royal New Zealand Navy International Naval Review 2016. The ship had earlier visited Sydney from 04-07 Nov 16.
The visit to Australia is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and enhancing maritime security cooperation between the two countries. During the stay in harbour, various activities are planned towards enhancing cooperation and mutual understanding between the two navies such as professional interactions with RAN and discussions towards further enhancing inter-operability. In addition, calls on senior Government and military authorities, sporting and cultural interactions and sharing of best practices would also be undertaken. On departure, the ship would also undertake a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with RAN ships.
Sumitra, is the fourth of the Saryu class ships, based on an indigenous design and constructed by M/s Goa Shipyard Ltd, India. Since commissioning in 2014, the ship has been deployed for multiple operational tasks, the most notable being ‘Operation Rahat’, which entailed the evacuation of personnel of various nationalities from war-torn Yemen in 2015. The ship has a range of 6,500 nautical miles and is capable of embarking one Dhruv/ Chetak helicopter. The ship is commanded by Cdr KP Shreeshan.