Indian naval ship ‘Khanjar’, an indigenously-built Missile Corvette of the Khukri class, arrived in Sri Lanka’s eastern port of Trincomalee on Saturday for a three-day visit to enhance the close ties and interoperability between the two navies.
The visit is significant in view of the potential for cooperation between India and Sri Lanka for augmenting the capabilities of the Sri Lanka Navy for efficiently addressing shared challenges for maritime security in the region, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said in a statement on Friday.
The Indian Naval Ship ‘Khanjar’ has arrived in the eastern port of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka Navy said.
The ship was accorded a customary welcome by the Sri Lanka Navy on its arrival, India’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
During the ship’s visit, the two navies will engage in various activities including planning discussions, professional exchanges on topics of mutual interest, sports fixtures and visits onboard Khanjar by trainees from the Naval and Maritime Academy, Sri Lanka.
The port call is aimed at further enhancing the close ties and interoperability between the Indian Navy and Sri Lanka Navy, it said. INS Khanjar is the fourth ship of the indigenously designed and built Khukri class missile corvettes. Built by GRSE, Kolkata, the ship is armed with an array of modern weapons and sensors.
The ship’s Commanding Officer NVS Phani Kumar will call on the Commander of Eastern Naval Area, while various professional interactions will take place on VBSS, gunnery and missile operations.
“In order to further people-to-people connect and familiarise the people with the Indian Navy and its capabilities, the ship will be open for a visit by school children,” the statement by the Indian High Commission said.
The public can visit the ship on July 30 at the Trincomalee Port. The ship will also carry out a Yoga Session, Beach Cleaning and Special School in Trincomalee, the statement said.
On July 31, post departure, a Maritime Partnership Exercise with Sri Lanka Navy Ship off Trincomalee is also planned, it said. In June, Indian Naval Submarine Vagir visited Colombo to celebrate the International Day of Yoga.
Last week, during Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Sri Lankan President agreed upon ‘Promoting Connectivity, Catalysing Prosperity: India-Sri Lanka Economic Partnership Vision’.
The leaders acknowledged that the India-Sri Lanka partnership has been a source of strength in overcoming economic difficulties faced by Sri Lanka and Wickremesinghe especially appreciated India’s timely, unprecedented, and crucial to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on July 21.
The two leaders agreed on establishing land connectivity between Sri Lanka and India for developing land access to the ports of Trincomalee and Colombo.
To promote maritime connectivity, they agreed to cooperate in the development of ports and logistics infrastructure at Colombo, Trincomalee and Kankesanthurai to consolidate regional logistics and shipping, as per mutual understanding.
Visits by Indian Navy vessels to Sri Lanka further strengthen the camaraderie and interoperability between the Navies of the two neighbours, in keeping with India’s SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) doctrine and the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.