The flagship destroyer of India’s Western Naval Fleet, the INS Kochi, arrived at Port Al-Jubail on Monday, an indication of the growing defence ties between India and Saudi Arabia.
An Indian Embassy statement said the visit signals a new chapter in bilateral defence ties with the start of the harbour phase of a naval exercise ‘Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021’ between the two countries.
This exercise began on Monday between the friendly Navies and includes shore-based as well as sea-based exercises. Officials from the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, Border Guards, and Indian Embassy received the ship warmly upon its arrival at Jubail port. As specified in the Statement, the ship will adhere to all COVID-19 protocols during its stay in port.
INS Kochi, built by Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai, is a stealth guided-missile destroyer of the Kolkata class, which was commissioned on 30 September 2015 and is one of the most powerful warships in its class. With many firsts to her credit, including indigenous combat suites, the ship incorporates new design concepts for stealth.
The ship distinguishes itself by having a high level of indigenous systems, with most of them sourced from the country itself. In addition to the Electronic Warfare Suite and Foldable Hangar Doors, the INS Kochi also has a Helo Traversing System and Ship Stabilisers, all indigenous.
In fact, the ship can truly be dubbed as ‘Network of Networks’ as it is fully equipped with sophisticated digital networks as well as a cutting-edge array of state-of-the-art weapons to combat threats on the surface, at sea, and underwater.
Over the years, the ship has been involved in joint exercises with various friendly foreign navies.