Indian Navy ship reaches Sydney

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) An Indian Navy ship reached Sydney on Friday where it will participate in the ongoing ‘Festival of India’ celebrations, the government said.

INS Sumitra, an offshore patrol vessel under the command of K.P. Shreeshan, is on port call to Sydney in pursuance of India’s Act East policy and outreach to friendly countries.

The ship will be berthed in Sydney from November 4 to 7 and take part in various activities like official calls, reception on board and professional interaction between personnel of the Indian and Australian navies.

The visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and maritime security cooperation. The ship will be open to visitors.

India is organising ‘Confluence’ festival in Australia from August to November. It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Australia in November 2014.

In 2015, India and Australia inaugurated the biennial maritime exercise ‘AUSINDEX’ and its inaugural edition was held in the Bay of Bengal.

Last year, INS Sumitra participated in ‘Operation Rahat’, which entailed evacuation of personnel of various nationalities from war-torn Yemen.

INS Sumitra, on departure, will undertake a ‘Passage Exercise’ (PASSEX) with Royal Australian Navy.

PASSEX is conducted between the two navies to ensure they are capable of communicating with each other in times of war and humanitarian relief.