Port Blair Current Affairs - 2019

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1st India, Singapore, Thailand Trilateral Naval Exercise begins

The maiden Trilateral Naval exercise involving Indian Navy (IN), Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Thailand Navy (RTN) commenced at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The five-day exercise will be held from 16 to 20 September 2019.

About India, Singapore, Thailand Naval Exercise

Background: This Trilateral naval exercise was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address at Shangri-La dialogue in June 2018. The Initial Planning Conference (IPC) to discuss modalities of exercise was held in May 2019 and Final Planning Conference (FPC) was held in August 2019. Earlier, Malaysia has also showed interest in joining exercise.

Objective: To bolster maritime inter-relationships amongst India, Thailand and Singapore as well as to contribute significantly towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.

Under the ambit of this exercise

RSN Tenacious of Singapore (a guided missile stealth frigate) and His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Kraburi (a guided-missile frigate of Thailand Navy) would exercise with Indian Naval Ship INS Ranvir (a guided-missile destroyer), INS Kora (a missile corvette) and Sukanya (an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)) along with P8I Long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

Harbour phase: During the harbour phase scheduled at Port Blair, professional exchanges, sports fixtures, and cross deck familiarisation visits would be organized.

Sea phase: It will be held from 18-20 September. Also, a host of surface and air operations that involves gunnery, communication drills and force protection measures would be conducted thus, providing experience gaining and learning from one another’s best practices.

The exercise would strengthen interoperability and development of a common understanding of procedures. Also, apart from fostering cooperation, the trilateral exercise would provide an opportunity to participating navies to come together in a spirit of collaboration to nurture stronger ties.

Landing Craft Utility L-56 Commissioned into Indian Navy

Landing Craft Utility (LCU) LCU L56 was commissioned into Indian Navy at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam. Indian Navy Ship LCU L-56 is the 6th ship of Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK IV class. Landing Craft Utility is 100th warship built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata. With this it has become 1st shipyard in the country to do so.

About INS LCU 56

It is an amphibious ship. Its primary role is transportation and deployment of Armoured Vehicles, Main Battle Tanks, Troops and Equipment from ship to shore.

Based in Port Blair: LCU L56 would be administered and based in Port Blair. It would be under Naval Component Commander (NAVCC) in Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC).

Advantages: Induction of LCU 56 will add to Maritime and Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) capability of ANC. Ship will be deployed for multi-role activities like Coastal Patrolling, Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, Disaster Relief operations, Beaching operations as well as Surveillance operations along Andaman and Nicobar Group of Islands.

Features: Displacement of 900 tonnes; Measures 62 metres in length and is fitted with two MTU diesel engines, which provide a sustainable speed of more than 15 knots. Ship is equipped with state-of-art equipment and is armed with two 30 mm CRN-91 guns manufactured by Ordnance Factory, Medak, in Telangana.

Ship is manned by a team comprising 4 officers and 56 sailors and is also capable of carrying 150 troops.