Indian Naval Ship (INS) VISAKHAPATNAM with Rear Admiral Vineet S. McCarthy, Flag Officer Commanding, Western Fleet onboard arrived at Al-Shuwaikh Port for an Operational Turnaround visit on 19 August.

The visit of the ship adds a new chapter to the bilateral navy to navy cooperation between the two countries, and is a continuation of the increased maritime cooperation witnessed during 2021 with five Indian Naval Ships visiting Kuwait for transporting liquid medical oxygen followed by visit of INS TEG in July 2022 and three ships from First Training Squadron having a port call at Kuwait in October 2022.

INS VISAKHAPATNAM is the lead ship and the first of the Visakhapatnam class stealth guided missile destroyers. Built indigenously by Mazagon Dock Limited in India, the ship was commissioned on 21 November 2021 and is one of the largest destroyers in service with the Indian Navy. The 164 meter long ship is fitted with the most advanced state of the art navigation and communication equipment, sensors, radars and electronic warfare capability. The ship is equipped to carry two helicopters.

During its three day port-call the ship and crew will engage in various professional and training interactions with Kuwait Naval forces. The Ship will also welcome visits by Indian citizens and school children, besides hosting various cultural activities. On 22 August, there will be an international Passage Exercise (PASSEX) conducted with the Kuwait Navy. A passage exercise is normally undertaken whenever an opportunity arises, in contrast to pre-planned maritime drills.

Visit of INS Visakhapatnam to Kuwait is a testimony of the historic maritime relations between the two countries, which has contributed towards building a strong India-Kuwait partnership.

The visit highlights the Indian Navy’s commitment to establish cooperative partnerships with friendly countries, particularly in the Indian Ocean region to combat maritime challenges together. It is also expected to further strengthen the defense ties between the two countries.

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