The Indian Navy Ship INS Sahyadri’s visit to Darwin last week marked the first time since 1951 that an Indian warship has visited the top end port.
Sahyardri, the most modern warship in the Indian Fleet, was hosted by HMAS Perth alongside Darwin between 10-12 June, before conducting a PASSEX (passing exercise) and in-company training with Perth at sea for 48 hours.
The two ships departed Darwin Harbour in formation on 13 June, with Sahyadri and Perth on show for a number of observers assembled ashore.
Once clear of the harbour, the two ships sought to gain maximum benefit from time-in-company while transiting the Arafura Sea via the Vernon Island group by engaging in navigational and communications exercises, such as Officer of the Watch Manoeuvres and Flag hoist drills.
The crew of Sahyadri was particularly interested in the Royal Australian Navy’s experiences at the last Exercise RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific), noting that Sahyadri will be the first Indian warship to participate in the next iteration of RIMPAC, the worlds largest maritime exercise, which kicks off in Hawaii next month.
The PASSEX with Perth followed a busy three-day working visit to Darwin by Sahyadri, following her direct transit from India. For most of her crew, this visit was their first visit to Darwin, but not their first to Australian shores; the majority having made the entry into Sydney Harbour during the Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review (IFR) onboard Sahyadri in October 2013.
Press Release, June 17, 2014; Image: Australian Navy