In line with the expanding military cooperation with South East Asian nations, an Indian Navy Kilo class conventional submarine, INS Sindhukesari, docked in Jakarta, Indonesia, for the first time. The submarine, which was on operational deployment, travelled through the Sunda Strait and undertook the maiden docking in Indonesia for Operational Turnaround (OTR). Naval ships regularly make port calls to countries in the region.
The OTR in Jakarta, over 2,000 nautical miles away from its home base in Visakhapatnam, significantly expands the area operational reach of the submarine arm near crucial shipping lanes and the strategic Malacca Strait. In the past, Indonesia gave access to its Sabang port to Indian Naval ships for operational turnaround.
Why India deployed this submarine?
India has steadily expanded its defence and security cooperation with countries in the region, many of which are engaged in disputes with China in the South China Sea. In recent years, India has signed logistics support agreements with several countries to enhance reach and sustenance of military assets while deployed far from home.
INS Sindhukesari had undergone a major Rs 1,197-crore ‘medium refit-cum-life extension’ at Severodvinsk in Russia that ended in 2018, as part of the ongoing plan to upgrade four old Sindhughosh-class (Russian-origin Kilo-class) and two Shishumar-class (German HDW) submarines to stem depletion in the underwater fleet.
The submarine’s deployment to Indonesia comes soon after India conducted operational training to handle the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles for 21 military personnel from Philippines at Nagpur earlier this month.
India will supply three missile batteries of the shore-based anti-ship systems of the BrahMos, a deadly conventional (non-nuclear) weapon that flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8 with a strike range of 290-km, under the $375 million contract inked in January.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Chief of Naval Staff: Admiral R Hari Kumar;
- Indian Navy Founded: 26 January 1950;
- Indian Navy headquarters: New Delhi.
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