In­dian Navy flotilla in Philip­pines

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

As mar­itime ten­sions in­ten­sify be­tween China and the Philip­pines, four In­dian war­ships are now on a good­will visit to the lat­ter na­tion in what is be­ing in­ter­preted as a sub­tle mes­sage to Bei­jing. Com­ing shortly af­ter De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony’s visit to Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land and Aus­tralia, pre­ceded by Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh’s visit to Ja­pan and Thai­land, the In­dian Navy’s mar­itime diplo­matic mis­sion is seen to be top­ping off good­will and ties in the In­dian Ocean as a counter to China’s grow­ing as­sertive­ness in the mar­itime do­main.

Af­ter a pre­vi­ous stop in Viet­nam, also a na­tion fac­ing off with China in the mar­itime sphere, the four In­dian ships—guided mis­sile de­stroyer INS Ran­vi­jay, guided mis­sile stealth fri­gate INS Sat­pura, Kora-class guided mis­sile corvette INS Kirch and fleet re­plen­ish­ment tanker INS Shakti—docked in Manila on a five-day visit. Un­der the com­mand of Flag Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing (Eastern Fleet) Rear Ad­mi­ral P. Ajit Kumar, the fleet will be in the Philip­pines when the In­dian Navy’s Flag Of­fi­cer Com­mandin­gin-Chief, Eastern Naval Com­mand, Vice Ad­mi­ral Anil Cho­pra ar­rives in Manila for an of­fi­cial visit on June 15.

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