As part of the Indian
Navy’s Overseas Deployment (OSD) to the Mediterranean Sea and the West
Coast of Africa, four warships, namely Indian Naval Ships Mumbai,
Trishul, Tarkash and Aditya, arrived at Souda Bay, Greece for a
three-day visit yesterday. The warships will engage with the Hellenic
Navy during their stay in the country. Apart from professional
interactions, a number of sports and social engagements are planned,
which would go a long way in enhancing co-operation and understanding
between the two navies.
The visiting ships are part of the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command
and are based in Mumbai. The Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral RB
Pandit, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, who is flying his
flag on the indigenous guided missile destroyer, INS Mumbai.
The current visit seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and
solidarity with friendly and like-minded countries towards ensuring good
order in the maritime domain and to strengthen the existing bonds
between India and Greece.
India and Greece are two of the world’s ancient civilisations with a
long history of close contact. Building upon the rich and longstanding
relations that have existed between India and Greece, both nations have
developed warm relations in several spheres. A number of bilateral
agreements for co-operation and cultural exchange exist between the two
nations with the majority of them being signed in 2007 during the visit
of President APJ Abdul Kalam. Trade between India and Greece remains
vibrant with many Indian corporate houses having strong interests in
Greece. A MoU for defence cooperation between India and Greece was
signed in 1998. The Greek defence minister Mr Pannos Kammenos visited
India in December 2015 and held discussions with his Indian counterpart
Mr Manohar Parrikar, on various issues such as naval cooperation,
training and regional security.
Over the last few decades India has made substantial advances in terms
of designing and building warships indigenously and the visiting ships
bear testimony to these capabilities. INS Mumbai and Aditya have been
designed by the design bureau of the Indian Navy and constructed at
Indian shipyards, namely, the Mazagon Dockyard Limited (in Mumbai), and,
the Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers Limited (in Kolkata). The
destroyer Mumbai and the frigates Trishul and Tarkash are equipped with
state-of-the-art weapons and sensors.
Indian Naval assets have been increasingly deployed in recent times to
address the main maritime concerns of the region, including piracy off
the coast of Somalia. In addition, the Indian Navy has also been
involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with
Hydrographic Survey, Search and Rescue, EEZ Surveillance and other such
capacity-building and capability-enhancement activities. The current
deployment in the Mediterranean Sea will contribute towards the Indian
Navy’s efforts to consolidate inter operability and forge strong bonds
of friendship across the seas.