Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri, currently on operational deployment to South China Sea and North West Pacific region in pursuance of India’s ‘Act East’ policy, entered at Manila. The ship is likely to be at Manila till for extensive interactions with the Philippine Navy. Bilateral relations between India and the Philippines, based on shared values of anti-colonialism, strong democratic polity and South – South Cooperation have been growing significantly in the recent past, spurred by both economic as well as security engagements. Regular foreign policy consultations and security dialogue meetings have provided impetus to the bilateral relationship.
The visit of INS Sahyadri is aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and enhancing inter-operability between navies of the two countries. INS Sahyadri is an indigenously built warship of the Shivalik Class. Inducted into the Indian Navy on 21 July 12, the multi-role stealth frigate, boasts of an impressive array of weaponry in her arsenal. Long range anti-ship missiles, medium and short range surface to air missiles augmented by powerful guns of different calibres provide a formidable shield against all types of surface and air threats. The capability to carry two integral multi-role helicopters significantly enhances the potency of this ship. INS Sahyadri, is presently being commanded by Captain Kunal Singh Rajkumar.
During the stay in harbour, various activities aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two navies are planned. These include official calls on local naval and civilian dignitaries, reception on board INS Sahyadri, visits to the ship by the local populace, guided tours for Indian Naval personnel and professional interaction between personnel of both the navies.
On departure, the ship is planned to exercise with Philippine Navy ships for improving interoperability in communication as well as Search and Rescue procedures.