Navy to take part in fleet review in China

Pakistan is not participating in the event

Published - April 19, 2019 10:12 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Fleet tanker INS Shakti as seen from the R.K. Beach in Visakhapatnam

Fleet tanker INS Shakti as seen from the R.K. Beach in Visakhapatnam

The Indian Navy has sent two ships to take part in the International Fleet Review to be held in Qingdao, China, later this month as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. The ships are stealth destroyer INS Kolkata and fleet tanker INS Shakti.

Surprisingly, Pakistan’s Navy is not taking part in the event.

“The ships are likely to sail in the evening of April 22 to participate in the Naval Parade scheduled to be reviewed by Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 23,” the Navy said in a statement on Friday.

The visit of the Navy’s most potent destroyer and versatile fleet support ship showcases India’s prowess, reach and sustainability, besides indigenous ship-building capability, the Navy said. The Indian delegation is being led by the Chief of Staff of the Visakhapatnam-based Eastern Naval Command, who is of the rank of Rear-Admiral.

As a reciprocal gesture and as part of the efforts to promote military cooperation, China has agreed to send its ships on port calls to India, a Navy source said.

“In a big surprise, Pakistan’s Navy is not participating in the event by its all-weather friend,” the Navy source said.

During the harbour stay of the ships, there will be interactions between personnel of the participating navies, courtesy calls to various dignitaries of the PLA Navy and government officials, professional exchanges and sporting events. The ships will be opened for visits by People’s Liberation Army Navy personnel and local residents, the statement said.

The INS Kolkata is an indigenously built stealth guided missile destroyer. The INS Shakti is one of the largest fleet replenishment tankers, displacing over 27,000 tonnes and capable of carrying 15,000 tonnes of liquid cargo.

The Indian Navy had last held an International Fleet Review in February 2016, in which 50 navies of different countries took part with nearly 100 warships.

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