Eyeing Southeast Asia, India builds port in Indonesia.


India is developing its maiden deep-sea port in Indonesia's Sabang close to Andaman and Nicobar Islands making its maiden foray in the southeast Asian amid China’s slew of connectivity plans for ASEAN under BRI.

The Sabang port is being developed in partnership with neighbour and strategic partner Indonesia. An Indian Coast Guard Ship Vijit, is currently on a visit to Sabang, Indonesia, from March 17-20. The deep sea portwill give India wide access to Southeast Asia as a counter-balancing force. The port will be a key element in India's Indo-Pacific strategy, persons familiar with the project told ET.

A joint initiative to develop deep-sea port in Sabang in Indonesia’s Aceh province to enhance maritime connectivity as part of respective Indo-Pacific strategies was launched last year. India and Indonesia are trying to complement each other with proposed connectivity and infrastructure projects in the region.

During the visit of Prime Minister of India to Indonesia in May 2018, both sides had arrived at a “Shared Vision of Maritime Cooperation in the Indo Pacific” under which deepening economic and people-to-people exchanges, including connectivity with port of Sabang was identified as a key priority area. A series of steps have since been undertaken by both sides to implement the joint vision.

This visit of “VIJIT” follows from the first ever visit of Naval ship - INS Sumitra to Sabang in July 2018. The visit of the ship to Sabang highlights the close maritime proximity between India and Indonesia and the strengthening cooperation in the area of maritime security and safety, officials here told ET.

The VIJIT is commanded by Comdt T Ashish (0532-J), who is a long Navigation Direction officer. ICGS Vijit is the 2nd in the series of 90 meter Offshore Patrol Vessels, and was commissioned at Goa on 11 Dec 2010. 'Vijit' meaning "Winner or Victorious" is the testimony of India’s ship building capabilities and the resolve of Govt of India to safeguard country’s maritime interests. The ship’s complement includes a team of 15 Officers and 90 men who are highly motivated and fully trained to excel at all tasks with alacrity and élan in keeping with Coast Guard’s motto “Vayam Rakshamah”.

The ship is the fastest in its category with a designed speed of 26 knots at a displacement of 2393 tons. This new generation ship is equipped with the advanced Navigational and Communicational equipment, sensors and machinery including an Integrated Bridge System (IBS), Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS), Power Management System (PMS), High Power External Fire Fighting System (ABS Fi-Fi Class-1) and one indigenous Close Range Naval (CRN) 91 Gun Mount along with an IR/ UV fire control system for day and night usage.

The ship is designed to carry one twin engine HAL built Advance Light Helicopter and five high speed boats for Search and Rescue, Maritime Law Enforcement and Marine Pollution Response. The ship is fitted with advanced Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) making it a very versatile platform to carryout Search and Rescue operations in Indian Search and Rescue Region (ISRR) besides carrying out other tasks as mandated in CG Charter. The sustenance and reach coupled with most modern weapons, sensors and communication systems, provides her the capabilities of performing the role of a command platform for the conduct of Coast Guard operations at high seas and near the coast.

Last November the first bilateral naval exercise named “Samudra Shakti” between the Indian and the Indonesian Navies was inaugurated on Tuesday in Surabaya were held in Java Sea.

The commencement of this bilateral naval exercise marked a significant forward step in the operational engagement between the two navies following the Ind-Indo Corpat which have been ongoing since 2002. INS Rana ( a destroyer class vessel) commanded participated from the Indian Navy and from the Indonesian Navy the units that participated included KRI Sultan Iskandar Muda and Maritime Patrol Aircrafts. The exercise was held in two phases: the harbour phase and followed by the sea phase. (Source:defencenews.in)

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