||Asean Affairs 30 May 2013
Indian navy warships call on South-East Asia
As part of India's policy to strengthen ties with South East Asia, a flotilla of Indian warships is visiting four countries in the region including the South China Sea, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
The vessels are led by Eastern Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Ajith Kumar and include India's newly inducted stealth frigate INS Satpura, Rajput class destroyer INS Ranvijay, corvette INS Kirch and replenishment vessel INS Shakti with more than 800 crew.
After leaving Indian shores on May 20, the warships have carried out the Singapore-Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) with their Singaporean counterparts and will soon visit Malaysia, Vietnam and Philippines before returning home the end of June.
The battleships will be on a five-day visit to Malaysia.
A passage exercise (PASSEX) has been planned with the Malaysian Navy which officials said would contribute towards furthering peace and maritime security in the region.
"The spectrum of this exercise encompasses both conventional war time drills and cooperative military action against unconventional threats in the maritime domain," Rear Admiral Kumar had told reporters at Port Klang in Malaysia.
The vessels will head to Vietnam after Malaysia before making a final port call to the Philippines.