Navy's Western Fleet to embark on a voyage to Europe, Africa

Indian Navy is all set to send its Western Fleet on a two month long voyage to the coast of Africa and Europe signalling its growing footprint in the Indian Ocean region.

Four ships from the Western Fleet will leave within a week to travel to Horn of Africa, Red Sea and the Western Mediterranean over the next two months. The flotilla under the command of Rear Admiral A R Karve will include a Delhi-class destroyer, two frigates and a tanker.

The western deployment comes within weeks of Navy’s successful eastern deployment under the leadership of Rear Admiral P Ajit Kumar in which four ships from the eastern command traveled up to South China Sea and North West Pacific, and conducted the first bilateral maritime exercise with Japan.

Four ships of Eastern Command, INS Rana, Shivalik, Karmukh and Shakti have entered Shanghai on a four day port visit. This is first visit by Indian warships in six years during which period India’s military strategy tilted more towards countering China.

The Navy could not send its Western Fleet on a deployment last year as more ships were required for anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.

In addition to deployment of eastern and western fleets, two more naval ships are also on duty in the high seas demonstrating the blue water capability of Indian Navy.

While INS Tabar is in the Gulf of Aden for providing escort services to commercial ships transiting through the piracy-infested zone, INS Savitri is in Port Victoria, Seychelles, to participate in the National Day celebration of Seychelles after which it will monitor exclusive economic zone of Seychelles and Mauritius.

Indian Navy continues to maintain its Dornier aircraft in Seychelles and Maldives for aerial surveillance of their EEZ as well as for anti-piracy patrolling.

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