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Indian naval ship concludes 20-day drill in South Africa

Press Trust of India  |  Johannesburg 

An Indian naval ship has successfully concluded a 20-day drill with South African navy underscoring India's solidarity with countries of the Indian Ocean Region.

"This was the fourth edition of the biennial India- Brazil-South Africa Maritime (IBSAMAR) exercise which rotates between the three countries," said Captain Shaji Kutty, Defence Advisor at the Indian High Commission, who described the exercise as "very successful".

"INS Teg is the 9th Indian Naval ship to participate in IBSAMAR to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between the three nations. The visit also seeks to underscore India's solidarity with countries of the Indian Ocean Region," Kutty said.

The stealth frigate of the Indian Navy carried a helicopter and ten marine commandos, similar to that of vessels from South Africa and Brazil participating in two sets of exercises, one at sea and the other on shore, he said.

"In every edition of the IBSAMAR, the complexity of the exercises increases," Kutty said.

"In the last phase of this year's exercise, a simulated conflict was created in which the United Nations formed a joint task team of the navies to sort out the conflict. This involved the three ships defending against fighter aircrafts and submarines launched by South Africa from a command centre on shore," Kutty said.

During a VIP and media session, the three ships and marine commandos demonstrated how action against a pirate ship would take place.

The ship was also open for visits by the general public for two days in Cape Town, but unlike earlier visits by Indian naval vessels, there were fewer visitors.

"This was because previously the ship was berthed at the popular V & A Waterfront on the Cape Town beachfront, but this time this was not available so we were berthed at the passenger terminal where people had to go out of their way to reach there," Kutty said.

"In the past there were about a thousand visitors on just one day, but this time the total was less than that," he said.

INS Teg first stopped at Madagascar together with three sister ships as part of a goodwill deployment, from where the others departed to their respective destinations.

The ship is scheduled to make a port call at neighbouring Mozambique before returning to Mumbai by the end of this month.

INS Teg, built at Kaliningrad, Russia was commissioned into the Indian Navy on April 27, 2012.

The ship, a guided missile Stealth Frigate with a formidable arsenal, is commanded by Captain Anand Yeshwant Sardesai and is manned by a crew of 25 officers and 220 sailors.

First Published: Tue, November 11 2014. 20:36 IST
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