Australian Naval frigate Newcastle, which is on way to the Gulf of Aden for counter piracy patrols, docked at the port here on Wednesday.

The frigate, capable of air defence and anti-submarine operations besides recce, had been part of peacekeeping operations in East Timor, Solomon Islands and the Persian Gulf.

HMAS Newcastle, commanded by Commander Paul O’Grady, was received by Indian Navy’s fast attack craft Kabra at the mouth of the Kochi harbour. Officials from the Southern Naval Command, accompanied by the naval band, received the ship at the pier, said a defence communiqué.

Cdr O’Grady, along with the Australian Consul General in Chennai and the Australian Defence Attache in New Delhi, called on Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command.

Besides mutual visit to ships and training facilities of the Southern Naval Command, the training command of the Navy, there would be social interactions and professional exchanges during Newcastle’s port call in Kochi.

Indian warship Sharda will undertake passage exercise, a basic manoeuvring exercise, with the Australian frigate as she departs Kochi on Friday.

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