India’s largest naval ship, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, arrived at the Colombo Port today. It is accompanied by a destroyer, INS Mysore, the Ministry of Defence in Sri Lanka said.
The ships are transiting from the West Coast of India to the city of Visakhapatnam on the East Coast of India to participate in the International Fleet Review being hosted by the Indian Navy next month. Naval ships from more than 25 countries, including Sri Lanka, will be participating in this prestigious event.
The visit to Colombo by INS Vikramaditya will be its maiden overseas port call after its arrival in India two years ago, and is a manifestation of the close maritime cooperation and mutual trust between India and Sri Lanka.
INS Vikramaditya is the largest and newest of the two aircraft carriers operated by the Indian Navy, and is equipped with a variety of integral weapons and sensors. It operates a versatile range of high-performance aircraft, such as the MiG 29K fighter aircraft, KM 31 Airborne Early Warning helicopters, multi-role Sea King helicopters and utility Chetak helicopters. The ship is over 285 meters long and 60 meters wide, with her 23 decks scaling a height of 60 meters. The accompanying ship, INS Mysore, is a frontline missile destroyer made in India.
During their halt in Colombo, the crew of the ships will have professional interactions with their Sri Lanka Navy personnel. In addition, a number of sports and social engagements are planned, which are aimed at strengthening ties and mutual understanding between the two Navies. While departing Colombo, the ships will participate in a Passage Exercise with the Sri Lanka Navy. The visit of the ships will provide an opportunity to further deepen the interaction between the two Navies, who undertake a joint exercise, SLINEX, every alternate year. The Indian Navy also hosts a number of trainees from Sri Lanka Navy in its professional training institutes.
The Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh, NM, is flying his flag onboard INS Vikramaditya. INS Vikramaditya is commanded by Captain Krishna Swaminathan, while INS Mysore is commanded by Captain M. Paul Samuel.
The aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, a product of Russia, has joined the Indian Navy in November 2013 after spending US$ 2.3 billion on its modification.