Asia PacificExercisesSea

Indian ‘Bridges of Friendship’ Fleet to Drill in South China Sea, Pacific

The Indian Navy Fleet will deploy four of its warships to the South China Sea and the Western Pacific in an assignment that will run for two months, the Indian Ministry of Defense announced on Monday.

The deployment includes exercises with India’s Quad partners: the United States, Japan, and Australia. Although no specific departure date was given, India confirmed that the ships will set out sometime this month.

The fleet warships will include the Guided Missile Destroyer Ranvijay, Guided Missile Frigate Shivalik, Anti-Submarine Corvette Kadmatt, and Guided Missile Corvette Kora.

Other Bilateral Exercises During Deployment

Aside from exercises with its Quad partners, the Indian fleet entering the South China Sea will participate in bilateral exercises with the Vietnamese Peoples’ Navy, Republic of Philippines Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy, and the Indonesian Navy.

The Indian MoD labels the activities “Bridges of Friendship” to strengthen international cooperation, synergy, and coordination between the Indian Navy and friendly forces to safeguard “common maritime interests and commitment to Freedom of Navigation at sea.”

“The Indian Navy undertakes regular deployments to friendly foreign countries and Indian and the Pacific Ocean regions in furtherance of the Prime Minister’s initiative of Security and Growth for All in the Region – SAGAR,” the ministry said. “Besides regular port calls, the task group will operate in conjunction with friendly navies, to build military relations and develop interoperability in the conduct of maritime operations.”

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