As INS Sudarshini continues it grand ASEAN expedition, here’s a quick recap of the first 7 countries it has covered.
India is sending a Sail Training Ship “INS Sudarshini” on a commemorative ship expedition to ASEAN countries along the route of the monsoon trade winds. The ship expedition would retrace the sea routes developed during the 10th to 12th centuries, linking India with South East Asia, covering most of the modern and ancient ports in ASEAN countries.
The ship expedition was conceptualized to demonstrate India’s historical proximity with its ASEAN neighbours and to commemorate the longstanding ASEAN-India maritime and trade relationship. The expedition would also enhance people-to-people and naval links between India and the ASEAN nations. INS Sudarshini is a ‘Sail Training Ship’ built by the Goa Shipyard Ltd and was commissioned in 2011. This is the second Sail Training Ship in its class, after INS Tarangini, which was commissioned in 1997.
INS Sudarshini is scheduled to sail from 15 September 2012 to 26 March 2013. The ship is expected to call at 13 foreign ports in nine ASEAN countries apart from Kochi, Chennai and Port Blair in India during this period. The 13 ASEAN ports of call of the ship are: Padang, Bali, Manado, Brunei, Cebu, Manila, Da Nang, Sihanoukville, Bangkok, Singapore, Klang, Phuket and Yangon.
Defence Minister of India will flag-off INS Sudarshini at Kochi on September 15, 2012. ASEAN HOMs and their Deputies, Defence Attaches and other Embassy officials as also representatives of the Diplomatic Corps in Delhi would be invited for the event in Kochi.
Various “Marker” events — commercial and cultural, are being planned by India at 12 of the ports of call, i.e. Bali, Manado, Brunei, Manila, Da Nang, Sihanoukville, Bangkok, Singapore, Klang, Phuket and Yangon. Apart from these, a business marker event is being planned in Kuala Lumpur and a cultural event in Malacca, when INS Sudarshini is anchored in Klang. Indian Missions are already in touch with the respective ASEAN Governments in this regard. In India, marker events are being organized in Kochi, Chennai and Port Blair.
INS Sudarshini is expected to carry 35 naval cadets and 7 Officers. In order to further enhance Navy-to-Navy cooperation and camaraderie between the naval cadets of the Indian Navy and ASEAN member states’ Navies, it is proposed that, as suggested by ASEAN countries, the ship would pick up two naval officers/ cadets of each ASEAN country from the first port of call in that ASEAN country until the next port of call.