Navy projects blue water muscle with long range deployment in Indian Ocean region

8:47:00 AM
NEW DELHI, --  Four Indian warships on Wednesday set sail from Mumbai on a long overseas deployment to East Africa and beyond to build "maritime bridges" with countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

The first port of call for the warships -- guided-missile destroyer INS Mumbai, stealth frigates INS Talwar and INS Teg, and tanker INS Deepak - will be Antisiranana in Madagascar during the 50-day deployment.

"INS Teg will then separately head for the international waters off Simon's town, the main base of the South African Navy near Cape Town, for the IBSAMAR exercise among India, Brazil and South Africa from October 20 to November 7," said an officer.

"Such long-range deployments, covering the IOR and beyond, bear testimony to the Navy's blue-water capabilities. The four warships will be under the command of Western Fleet chief Rear Admiral R Hari Kumar," he added.

The IBSA forum was established in June 2003 to promote south-south dialogue, cooperation and the adoption of common positions on issues of international importance. Under it, the first IBSAMAR exercise was held in May 2008 as a unique trilateral strategic initiative involving three democracies from three different continents.

Indian warships usually undertake long-range deployments, both to project power as well as "build bridges of friendship", but the IBSAMAR wargames are nevertheless considered a challenging endeavour since the distance from India to South Africa, as also from Brazil to South Africa, is some 4,000 nautical miles.

The INS Mumbai (D62) is the third of the Delhi-class guided-missile destroyers in active-service with the Indian Navy.

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October 2, 2014 at 8:10 PM delete

It would be nice if Australia join the gruop. Four continents represented. That's the envy of china. If its navy goes to Indian ocean its seen with suspicion. Same in the pacific region. China wants to project blue water power but it has no blue water.