In pursuit of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and outreach to friendly countries, the Indian Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Sumitra, has arrived at Surabaya, Indonesia on a two day visit from 10-12 Oct 16, as part of its deployment to the South Western Pacific Ocean.
The visit 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. These include official calls and interaction with dignitaries of the Indonesian government and the Indonesian Navy, onboard visits by local populace, visits for Indian Navy personnel and professional interaction between personnel of both navies. On departure, the ship would also undertake a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Indonesian Naval ships.
India and Indonesia have extensive historic, cultural and maritime linkages. Regular maritime interaction through training exchanges, port calls, PASSEXs, biannual Coordinated Patrols (CORPATs) and the recently initiated annual bilateral maritime exercise, have reinforced the historic maritime relationship. Sumitra’s visit to Surabaya would further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries and contribute to overall maritime security in the region.
Sumitra, is the fourth of the Saryu class ships, based on an indigenous design and constructed by Goa Shipyard, 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.