Indian ship INS Sumitra visits Australia

New Delhi, Dec 6 (IANS) Indian Navy’s offshore patrol vessel INS Sumitra reached Australia’s Darwin port on Tuesday on a three day visit.

The ship, on her return passage after participating in the Royal New Zealand Navy International Naval Review 2016, will be there till December 9.

The ship had earlier visited Sydney in November.

“The visit to Australia is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and enhancing maritime security cooperation between the two countries,” an official statement said.

During its stay in the harbour, various activities are planned towards enhancing cooperation and mutual understanding between the two navies which include professional interactions with Royal Australian Navy and discussions towards further enhancing interoperability.

In addition, calls on senior government and military authorities, sporting and cultural interactions and sharing of best practices would also be undertaken, the statement said.

On departure, the ship would also undertake a Passage Exercise with Australian Navy ships.

Sumitra, is the fourth of the Saryu class ships, based on an indigenous design and constructed by Goa Shipyard Ltd.

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.A

The ship has a range of 6,500 nautical miles and is capable of embarking one Dhruv or Chetak helicopter.