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2 INS warships to take part in the 70th Anniversary of the Chinese Navy.

| 2019

Two Indian warships, the INS "Kolkata" and the INS "Shakti" are scheduled to take part in the Chinese Navy's 70th anniversary celebrations, which will take place from 21 to 26 April, off the Qingdao's port.

2 INS warships to take part in the 70th Anniversary of the Chinese Navy Indian Navy Destroyer, the INS Kolkata, on display at DIMDEX 2018, Qatar (Picture Source: Navy Recognition)

The two ships are scheduled to visit Chinese port of Qingdao from April 21 to 26, to participate in an International Fleet Review to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, an Indian Embassy press release said on Sunday, April 07.

During this visit, Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri, along with the Commanding Officer of INS Kolkata, Captain Aditya Hara, will host an onboard reception for the public. This visit will also be the first time Indian warships come to China since April 2014 when the PLAN marked its 65th anniversary in Qingdao. It is a message of peace and cooperation that is sent by India to its Chinese neighbour.

It may also be a demonstration of the muscles India is acquiring along the years, remembering its neighbours that India has to be taken with serious. “The Kolkata-Shakti combination is noteworthy. Through it, Delhi arguably wants Beijing to take note of its independent blue-water capabilities in far-flung regions, including perhaps the South China Sea. After all, Beijing has looked askance at previous Indian naval deployments to that contested body of water which it regards as its own “backyard”,” said Ben Ho, a naval analyst with the Military Studies Programme at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

INS Kolkata is the lead ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy. Its armaments reportedly include the Brahmos supersonic anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles. The 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) and AK 630 CIWS, both manufactured indigenously, can take on air and surface targets. The entire anti-submarine weapon and sensor suite fitted onboard, consisting of Indigenous Rocket Launchers (IRL), Indigenous Twin-tubeTorpedo Launchers (ITTL) and a bow-mounted New Generation HUMSA Sonar are a fine example of the Indian indigenous efforts in the field of underwater warfare. The vessel has an overall length of 164 meters, displaces about 7500 tons and is capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots.

As for the INS Shakti, it is a tanker and supply ship. This is the second of the two fleet tankers built by Fincantieri Shipyard of Italy for the Indian navy. The ship is one of the largest in the Indian Navy as it is 175 metres in length and 32 metres in width. The vessel displaces over 27,000 tonnes and is capable of carrying over 15,000 tonnes of liquid cargo including fuels for ships and aircraft of the navy as well as fresh water. It also has a large storage space to carry up to 500 tonnes of solid cargo like victuals and ammunition.

China’s defence spokesman Colonel Wu Qian told the media on March 28 that over 60 countries would join the commemorative event for the PLA Navy’s 70th founding anniversary on April 23.

We could have expected the Pakistani Navy to take part in the event, as a huge ally of the PLA. Though, Pakistan seems unlikely capable of sending its warships to China, being stuck in the Arabian Sea due to the heavy deployment of the Indian Navy in the area. Actually, for this reason, Pakistan appears to be unable to spare warships, even for its Iron brother China.

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