Indian navy ship visiting Fiji

Suva, Oct 26 (IANS) Indian Naval Ship Sumitra, which is on operational deployment in the Southern Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific, arrived in the Fijian capital on Wednesday on a three day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and maritime security cooperation, said an official statement.

The offshore patrol vessel, commanded by Commander K.P. Shreeshan, is also carrying five tons of seeds as part of the relief material provided by the Indian government to to the Pacific island nation.

During the stay in harbour October 26-29, official calls and interaction with dignitaries of the Fiji government and the Fiji Navy, onboard visits by local populace, visits for Indian Navy personnel and professional interaction between personnel of both navies have been planned.

The crew would also participate in community service, sports events and social fixtures.

On its departure, the ship is also likely to undertake a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Fiji Naval ships.

Sumitra, the fourth of the Saryu class, is based on an indigenous design and constructed by Goa Shipyard Ltd. The ship has a range of 6,500 nautical miles and is capable of embarking one Dhruv or Chetak helicopter.

Since its commissioning in 2014, it has been deployed for multiple operational tasks, the most notable being “Operation Rahat”, which entailed evacuation of personnel of various nationalities from war-torn Yemen in 2015.