28 February 2024

Two Indian Navy warships on a goodwill visit to New Zealand

Two Indian Navy frontline warships will visit New Zealand from 31 August-3 September 2023 to further strengthen the two countries cooperation in the defence sector.

Both Indian naval ships INS Sahyadri and INS Kolkata are on a goodwill visit and have just concluded their 11-day Exercise Malabar 2023 off Sydney (Australia) along with ships and aircraft from the US Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defence Force and the Royal Australian Navy.

INS Sahyadri – an indigenously built stealth multi-role frigate, and INS Kolkata, a guided-missile destroyer will be visiting Wellington and Auckland respectively on 31 August, 2023.

INS Sahyadri of Indian Navy
INS Sahyadri, multi-role frigate of the Indian Navy to visit NZ

Five Indian Naval ships have already visited New Zealand in previous years, and the last visit was in late 2017.

Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Neeta Bhushan described the ship visits as a momentous occasion that will further strengthen India-New Zealand partnership. She stated that it was ‘historic’ that two Naval ships are visiting at the same time. “This is reflective of the fact that our bonds are getting closer and deeper across sectors especially in the sphere of defence”, she said.

Over the last one year, there has been enhanced engagement between India and New Zealand across various sectors including political, business, defence and security. The visit of Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister in October 2022 was followed by visit of Nanaia Mahuta, Foreign Minister of New Zealand to India in February 2023.

Most recently, both Prime Ministers also met in Port Moresby on the sidelines of the FIPIC III Summit. It may be recalled that Admiral R Hari Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Naval Staff visited New Zealand last year and a White Shipping Agreement was signed during his visit.

A delegation from the National Defence College of India, led by Lt Gen Sukriti Singh Dahiya, SM, VSM also visited New Zealand in May-June this year for discussions with New Zealand’s Ministry of Defence.

INS Kolkata to visit NZ
INS Kolkata, guided-missile destroyer of the Indian Navy

Indian Naval Ship Kolkata, is the most advanced guided- missile destroyer designed and built in India. The ship is named after the Indian city of Kolkata and was commissioned on 16 August 2014. She is manned by a crew of 40 officers and 400 sailors and is equipped with an array of weapons and sensors which include, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, medium and short range guns, torpedo and anti-submarine rocket launchers. The ship is designed with stealth features to reduce its radar cross-section and increase survivability in combat situations. The Kolkata-class destroyers are a significant addition to the Indian Navy’s fleet and play a crucial role in enhancing the country’s maritime security and power projection capabilities. These destroyers are designed to operate in complex and challenging naval environments and can be used for both offensive and defensive operations.

INS Sahyadri is also an indigenously built stealth multi-role frigate of the Indian Navy, and was commissioned on July 21, 2012. The ship is named after the Western Ghats mountain range, also known as the Sahyadri Range, in India. The frigate is equipped with advanced weapons and sensors, making it capable of performing a variety of roles, including antisubmarine warfare, anti-air warfare, and anti-surface warfare. It is known for its modern technology, including stealth features to reduce its radar cross-section, enhancing its survivability in combat situations. The Shivalik-class frigates, including INS Sahyadri, play a crucial role in the Indian Navy’s efforts to maintain maritime security and protect the nation’s interests in the Indian Ocean region.

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