INS Sahyadri Participates in Royal Australian Navy’s KAKADU
KAKADU, an exercise that strengthens mutual confidence among regional navies, is the premier multilateral regional maritime engagement exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) that is held biennially in Darwin and the Northern Australian Exercise Areas (NAXA). KAKADU 2018, the 14th edition of the exercise, is scheduled from 29 August to 15 September, 2018, would see participation from 23 warships, one submarine, 45 aircraft, 250 marines and about 52 foreign staff from over 25 different countries.
INS Sahyadri shall represent Indian Navy in Exercise KAKADU 2018 and has entered the Port of Darwin, Australia on 29 August 2018. At the helm of INS Sahyadri is Captain Shantanu Jha, who is assisted by a team of professional and highly motivated men of the Indian Navy. Indian Navy’s participation provides it an excellent opportunity to engage with regional partners and undertake multinational maritime activities ranging from constabulary operations to high-end maritime warfare in a combined environment, aimed at enhancing interoperability and development of common understanding of procedures for maritime operations. During the exercise, professional exchanges in harbour and diverse range of activities at sea, including complex surface, sub-surface and air operations would enable sharing of best practices and honing of operational skills. Indian Navy’s participation in KAKADU 18 is also expected to further bolster India’s contribution in ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region
INS Sahyadri, one of India’s latest indigenously designed guided missile stealth frigate, commissioned on 21 July 2012, was the first Indian warship that reached Pearl Harbour, Hawai, United States on July 1, 2014, for a month long multilateral RIMPAC (Rim of Pacific) exercise with the US and other navies. Commanded by Captain Jyotin Raina, the vessel had then covered a distance of over 5000 nautical miles (9000 Km), she had a brief halt of three days en route in Darwin, Australia from June 10 to 13, 2014. Vessel is based in Vishakhapatnam as part of the eastern Naval Command.
INS Sahyadri prior to participation in KAKADU 18 was deployed to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean for over four months, representing Indian Navy in multinational exercises MALABAR 18 at Guam and RIMPAC 18 at Hawaii.
Exercise KAKADU, which started in 1993, derives its name from Kakadu National Park: a protected area, an enormous, bio-diverse nature reserve in Australia’s Northern Territory, 171 km southeast of Darwin, capital of Northern Territory. Darwin’s proximity to South East Asia makes it a link between Australia and countries such as Indonesia and East Timor.
Royal Australian Air Force had recently hosted from 24 July to 18 August 2018 Exercise Pitch Black, a biennial three week multi-national large force employment exercise, at its Bases in Darwin and Tindal, with an aim to foster international co-operation between participating partner forces through the development of capabilities such as intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance. Indian Air Force (IAF) for the first time had participated with air assets in the Exercise Pitch Black (PB-18). IAF had earlier participated in the exercise as observers.