Kuala Lumpur: Two Indian Naval Ships, Delhi and Shakti, arrived at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, as part of the Indian Navy's Operational Deployment on Sunday. The Royal Malaysian Navy and the High Commission of India in Malaysia accorded a warm welcome to Indian naval ships.

In a statement, the Indian Navy stated, "Two Indian Naval ships Delhi and Shakti under the command of R Adm Rajesh Dhankhar, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet arrived at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia as part of the Indian Navy's Operational Deployment. The ships were accorded a warm welcome by the Royal Malaysian Navy and the High Commission of India in Malaysia."

During the port call, personnel from Indian and Malaysian Navies will engage in a wide range of professional interactions, including Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) sessions, yoga, sports fixtures and cross-deck visits aimed at further strengthening the existing mutual cooperation and understanding between the Navies of two nations, according to the statement released by the Indian Navy.

On completion of the harbour visit, the Indian Navy ships will participate in a Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX)/PASSEX at sea with ships of the Royal Malaysian Navy. It is aimed at enhancing the degree of interoperability between the two Navies, which was reiterated during the recently concluded MILAN 2024 and Ex Samudra Lakshmana 2024.

In a statement, the Indian Navy stated, "This visit will further strengthen the longstanding friendship and cooperation between the two maritime neighbours through a series of engagements and activities. The deployment of the Indian Naval ships to this crucial region also highlights the Indian Navy's steadfast commitment to the 'Act East' and SAGAR policies of the Government of India."

According to the statement, INS Delhi is the first indigenously designed and built Project-15 class guided missile destroyer and INS Shakti is a Fleet Support Ship. The two naval ships are part of the Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet.

Recently, the Indian Naval Ships Delhi, Shakti and Kiltan concluded their four-day visit to Singapore from May 6 to 9. The visit was aimed at undertaking bilateral engagements, discussing areas of mutual interest and cooperation, and reaffirming the commitment to enhance maritime security and stability in the region.

"This visit is part of the Operational Deployment of the Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet to the South China Sea," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement. Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankhar, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet and Commanding Officers of the ships had an interaction with the Fleet Commander, Republic of Singapore Navy, at the Singapore Naval Headquarters.

"The visit provided an opportunity for discussions on enhancing naval cooperation and interoperability between navies of both India and Singapore. A deck reception was hosted onboard INS Shakti, wherein personnel from both navies and the Indian diaspora in Singapore, and also local diplomatic community, had the opportunity to interact, furthering the bonds of friendship and mutual respect," Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

The Ministry of Defence further added that local children were invited to visit the Indian ships as part of the Indian Navy's commitment to maritime education and outreach.

"The children were given guided tours of the ships, where they learned about naval operations, India's rich maritime history and heritage and also the importance of maritime security. These interactions aim to inspire the younger generation and promote a greater understanding of maritime affairs. Personnel from both the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy also undertook cross-ship visits and Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE), in addition to other professional interactions," it said.

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