Embassy of India
INDIAN NAVAL PARTICIPATION IN PLA NAVY IFR
1. Two Indian Naval ships and a high level delegation led by Rear Admiral Puneet Chadha, the Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of the Eastern Naval Command, will be participating in the PLA Navy International Fleet Review (IFR), to be held at Qingdao, China, from 22 to 25 April 2019. The two ships are INS Kolkata, commanded by Captain Aditya Hara, and INS Shakti, commanded by Captain Sriram Amur.
2. INS Kolkata is an indigenously designed and built stealth destroyer. It is the first of a class of three such ships and is the biggest destroyer built by India. INS Kolkata is equipped with the latest weapons and sensors, and is capable of simultaneously engaging multiple threats from the air, sea and underwater. INS Shakti is a Fleet Support Ship. Her role is to provide fuel, provisions and munitions to warships whilst underway at sea. Both ships are capable of operating large helicopters for tasks such as anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue. The last port of call of the two ships was Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, where they conducted a bilateral exercise with the Vietnam Navy. After Qingdao, the next port of call is Busan, South Korea, where the ships will participate in the ADMM Plus Maritime Exercise.
3. Participation by the Indian Navy in the PLA Navy IFR is part of the efforts towards deepening the military-to-military relations between India and China, which is in keeping with the strategic guidance provided by the leaders of both countries. The past year has witnessed an intensification of these exchanges, including an exchange of visits by the Defence Ministers and Army/Theatre Commanders of both countries. A high level delegation from the PLA Air Force participated in the Bangalore Air Show, and the Vice Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force participated in the Zhuhai Air Show in 2018. The PLA Navy was represented at the Rear Admiral-level at the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) 10 th anniversary celebrations in Kochi in November last year. Besides these high level engagements, there have also been professional interactions at the mid and junior officers levels. These include the army joint training exercise “Hand-in-Hand”, and participation by PLA Navy cadets in the Admiral’s Cup Regatta at the Indian Naval Academy.
4. It is anticipated that the PLA Navy IFR will further this ongoing process of enhancing mutual trust and understanding. A range of professional, cultural and sports exchanges are planned. Professionally, the ships’ crews will not only participate in planning and executing the parade at sea, but will also meet separately for experience sharing. On the cultural front, the Indian Naval band, embarked on the ships, will give a performance at the iconic May 4 th Square. Sports activities will include basketball, tug of war, table tennis and a Sampan boat race. The ships will also be open to the general public, including the local Indian community, providing a unique opportunity for direct engagement with the people of Qingdao.