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Sunday, April 20, 2014  

Naval fleet to sail through S. China Sea; Chinese ship to call at Kochi
NEW DELHI Four ships of the navy’s eastern fleet will soon proceed on an over two-month-long overseas deployment, sailing through South China Sea to reach Japan.

“As part of Long Range Overseas Deployment (LROD) of the fleet, four ships including a tanker will sail through South China Sea and Malacca Strait to reach Japan. The ships will make port calls in Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Shanghai in China,” Indian Navy officials said on Friday.

The ships, which are scheduled to sail in next two days for Japan, will be on a LROD for a period of more than two months, they added.

Meanwhile, Chinese naval training ship Zheng He, which is on a round-the-world voyage to mark 63rd anniversary of the founding of People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), will reach Kochi on May 9 for a brief stopover.

“The Chinese training ship is carrying an Indian Navy’s Sea Cadet David Veeravalli who had boarded the vessel in Malaysia. He will disembark Zheng He after it anchors at Kochi,” the officials said.

The Indian Navy ships which will sail for the long range deployment include one each of Ranveer, Shivalik and Kora class vessels, including the replenishment tanker.

The fleet will be commanded by Rear Admiral P Ajith Kumar who took over the Eastern Naval Command on April 30.

“LROD is an annual exercise of the Indian Navy aimed at generating goodwill among the neighbouring countries and is an integral part of the maritime diplomacy,” the officials said. Last year in September, the Chinese Navy had objected to the presence of an Indian naval vessel in South China Sea.

Another Indian naval ship INS Teg, which was inducted last month, will be sailing to Germany to participate in the Hamburg Port festival.

“INS Teg will be participating in the Hamburg Port Festival as part of ongoing celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of India’s diplomatic ties with Germany,” the navy officials said.

The three-day festival will begin from May 11. It includes a show of Indian culture, dance, music and food.

 INS Teg, a guided missile frigate, is the latest in the arsenal of Indian Navy. It carries surface-to-surface BrahMos supersonic cruise missile along with a medium range gun and anti-submarine rockets.

The frigate was commissioned into the Indian Navy on April 27 at Yantar shipyard in Russia. The Teg-class of ships have been built to meet specific command and control needs of Indian Navy for coordinated surface, air and underwater missions.

Press Trust of India
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