Navy ships INS Kolkata and Shakti carried out Group Sail with the naval ships of Japan, the Philippines and the U.S. in the South China Sea (SCS) from May 3-9, the Navy said on Thursday.
“The ships undertook various exercises en route which included formation manoeuvring, under way replenishment runs, cross-deck flying and exchange of sea riders,” the Navy said in a statement.
Committed to safety
“The group sail exercise showcased India’s commitment to operating with like-minded nations to ensure safe maritime environment through enhanced interoperability,” it said.
China, which claims a major part of the SCS, has disputes with most of its maritime neighbours. Six ships, including a frigate and helicopter carrier JMSDF Izumo from Japan, a Philippines frigate and an Arleigh Burke class destroyer from the U.S. Navy took part in the six-day exercise. Indian Navy ships were on return passage from their deployment to the South and the East China Seas as part of the annual Eastern Fleet overseas deployment during which they visited Vietnam, China and South Korea.
In China, the ships took part in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the People’s Liberation Army (Navy). They later took part in the Phase I of the maritime security field training exercise under the aegis of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) from May 1 to 3 off South Korea.
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