"As part of Long Range Overseas Deployment (LROD) of the fleet, four ships including a tanker will sail through South China Sea and Malacca Strait to reach Japan. The ships will make port calls in Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Shanghai in China," Indian Navy officials said today.
The ships, which are scheduled to sail in next two days for Japan, will be on a LROD for a period of more than two months, they added.
Meanwhile, Chinese naval training ship Zheng He, which is on a round-the-world voyage to mark 63rd anniversary of the founding of People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), will reach Kochi on May 9 for a brief stopover.
"The Chinese training ship is carrying an Indian Navy's Sea Cadet David Veeravalli who had boarded the vessel in Malaysia. He will disembark Zheng He after it anchors at Kochi," the officials said.
The Indian Navy ships which will sail for the long range deployment include one each of Ranveer, Shivalik and Kora class vessels, including the replenishment tanker.
The fleet will be commanded by Rear Admiral P Ajith Kumar who took over the Eastern Naval Command on April 30.
"LROD is an annual exercise of the Indian Navy aimed at generating goodwill among the neighbouring countries and is an integral part of the maritime diplomacy," the officials said.
Last year in September, the Chinese Navy had objected to the presence of an Indian naval vessel in South China Sea. (More)