INS Rana under the Eastern Naval Command is on deployment to the South East Asia and arrived at the port of Surabaya to participate in the inaugural exercise between the Indian-Indonesian Navies starting Nov 12-18 named as ‘Samudra Shakti’.
The aim of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices.
The strategic partnership between the two nations was elevated to ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ during the visit of Honourable Prime Minister of India in May 18 and Defence co-operation has been a significant pillar in this partnership. The visit of the ship seeks to promote India’s solidarity with Indonesia towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen existing bonds between the navies of the two nations.
As part of its Strategic Relations, India has offered to train sailors from Indonesia in submarine operations in an effort to boost maritime security cooperation.
Exercise Samudra Shakti :-
The exercise would start with a Harbour Phase scheduled from 12 to 15 Nov encompassing planning and briefing on various activities, professional interactions, cross deck visits, sports fixtures and social interactions. This would progress to a Sea Phase scheduled from 16 to 18 Nov and would include operations such as Joint Manoeuvres, Helicopter Operations, Surface Warfare exercise, ASW exercise and Anti Piracy exercises.
Possible reasons could be for inaugural exercise :-
- Leaders of both countries want their countries to emerge as major maritime powers to ensure a stable maritime order in the region
- India is concerned about the security of the sea lanes of communication in the larger Indo-Pacific
- Indonesia on the other had concerns about Chinese maritime activities near the Natuna islands.