Indian Navy warship INS Satpura is at the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as part of world’s largest multilateral naval exercise (Ex) RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) involving 27 nations.
This is only the second time that Indian Navy is physically present in the biennial exercise held in Western Pacific Ocean that is seeing participation of China, France, Japan, United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, Canada, among other nations. Brazil, Denmark, Germany and Italy are participating for the first time.
India’s participation in the mega exercise began as an ‘Observer’ in 2006 followed by 2010 and 2012. In 2014, Indian participation was enhanced with deployment of Indian Naval ship Sahyadri.
INS Satpura, an indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate, is part of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy. Naval officials said that the participation in the exercise is in line with India’s Act East policy.
“Indian Naval participation in Ex RIMPAC provides a platform for multilateral operational interactions aimed at increased interoperability and development of common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations. The professional exchanges in harbour and diverse range of activities at sea, including complex surface, sub-surface and air operations would enable sharing of best practices and honing of operational skills,” Navy said in a statement.
The exercise, notably also brings together Japan and the US joining hands with China that sees red over the two countries’presence in the South China sea. China’s participation was opposed by a section of the US Congress prior to the beginning of the exercise.
The current edition of the exercise is being held at Hawaii and California and scheduled to culminate on August 4.