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Indian Frigate Visits Auckland

Indian Frigate Visits Auckland
By Rohit Kumar ‘Happy’

Indian Naval Ship Tabar, the third frigate of the Talwar class would be open to public on July 5th between 12pm and 6pm. Tabar was commissioned at St Petersburg in April 2004.

The Indian Navy frigate INS TABAR arrived in Devonport on 2 July for a five day port visit. This visit is very similar to recent visits by HMNZS TE MANA to the Indian ports of Cochin and Mumbai (2-13 June), and signals increasing interactions between the two navies.

An important aspect during the current visit of INS Tabar is the presence of Vice Admiral Suresh Mehta in Auckland and in Wellington. He is the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. He is scheduled to meet with the senior leadership of the NZ Defence Force at Wellington and in Auckland during this period.

Defence cooperation between New Zealand and India is set to grow over the next few years. There have been some exchanges at the senior most levels with Rear Admiral David Ledson, Chief of the RNZN having recently returned from an official visit to the Indian Naval HQ in Delhi and ships and facilities in Mumbai while HMNZS TE MANA was in India.

These were the RNZN’s first formal port visits to India in many years. Other ships have previously paid operational visits (for refuelling and recreation) to Indian ports while deploying to or from the Arabian Gulf, but this year’s visits were in support of NZ High Commission in India and were fully committed to diplomatic and Navy-to-Navy events.

The NZ Chief of Navy is very pleased with the impact of NZ ship’s visit to India, "Our ships are an ideal platform to achieve a 'whole of government' impact on the guests and officials of the nations we visit. While in India, TE MANA, working with MFAT, was able to market New Zealand to a wide range of Indian people at all levels of government and in one of the world's largest cities. In Mumbai I heard nothing but positives about our sailors - I look forward to more interaction, both professionally and socially with the Indian Navy."

Highlights of the Visit of INS TABAR include a powhiri for the 50 members of the INS TABAR crew, a session with the bands of both INS TABAR, and the Navy Band and a soccer match between INS TABAR and the Navy Soccer Team at Ngataringa Bay Sports Grounds.

INS TABAR departs Auckland on Thursday 6 July.

ENDS

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