Indian Warship in Seychelles, Signals Delhi’s Interest in Indian Ocean Region
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – The Indian Navy is participating in a two-week exercise being conducted by the world’s largest multinational naval partnership, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), in Seychelles, signaling New Delhi’s growing interest in the western Indian Ocean.
Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sunayna entered Port Victoria in the capital city of the archipelago of 115 islands which lies northeast of Madagascar to participate in CMF’s annual training exercise ‘Operation Southern Readiness’.
Participating countries also include Australia, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States as the navies work on strengthening regional collaboration and enhancing operational readiness.
SeychellesCMF consists of 34 member nations whose forces operate in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean.
“Seychelles is a strong regional maritime partner and we are very grateful for them hosting this new opportunity. We are also excited to work with other international partners, including India, to train and build capacity in a vibrant way,” said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, Commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, US 5th Fleet and CMF.
As two countries that face similar security challenges in the backdrop of the current global situation and growing security concerns in the Indian Ocean Region, India and Seychelles have increased defense cooperation over the past few years.
India has handed over four fast patrol boats including PS Zoroaster and PS Topaz to Seychelles. It has also launched a Coastal Surveillance Radar Project in Seychelles. Besides, India has granted US $3.4 million, along with a 1-megawatt ground-mounted solar plant located on Romainville Island. The high-impact project is expected to produce enough electricity to serve around 400 households.