Three Indian warships in Manila on goodwill visit

Over the next few days, the navies of India and the Philippines will hold subject matter expert exchange sessions, sports events, cultural events, and community outreach programs.

Frances Mangosing

Frances Mangosing

Philippine Daily Inquirer


Guided missile destroyer INS Delhi and, behind it, corvette INS Kiltan are two of the three Indian Navy ships docked at Manila’s South Harbor on Sunday for a goodwill visit until Wednesday. New Delhi is among Manila’s allies involved in helping boost the Philippines’ military strength. PHOTO: PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

May 20, 2024

MANILA – Three Indian Navy ships on a regional deployment docked in the port of Manila on Sunday for a four-day goodwill visit.

The ships—guided missile destroyer INS Delhi, fleet tanker INS Shakti and ASW corvette INS Kiltan—belong to the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet that also made prior stops in other Southeast Asian countries as part of the current deployment.

“We are visiting friendly foreign countries to share our experiences and best practices with the host nation Navies,” Indian Navy head of mission Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankhar said in his brief remarks.

“The two nations share common interests particularly in maintaining peace and order in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
Multifaceted exchanges

Over the next few days, the navies of India and the Philippines will hold subject matter expert exchange sessions, sports events, cultural events and community outreach programs, which are aimed to foster “the existing mutual cooperation and understanding between the two navies and both nations.”

Navy ships from both countries will also take part in a “maritime partnership exercise at sea,” Dhankar said, without providing details.

“The Indian Navy and Philippine Navy share strong bonds of friendship, and both have endeavored to participate in Maritime Partnership Exercises at every available opportunity,” he said.

The visit comes amid the growing ties between Manila and New Delhi. The Indian government reiterated its support to the Philippines for its assertion of its territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea during the visit of Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Manila last March.

Deeper relations

The two countries agreed to pursue deeper defense and military relations by convening multilevel dialogue mechanisms, conducting practical cooperative activities focused on capability development and increase education and training exchanges during the meeting of Jaishankar and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

Both sides also agreed to promote collaboration among defense industries, enhance mobility and logistics cooperation, as well as explore investments on emerging technologies, cooperation on space domain awareness and potential partnership on joint research and development.

Indian media reports said last month that New Delhi is posting a defense attache to Manila for the first time as part of its efforts to build up strategic ties in key regions.

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