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Here is what you need to know about the Indian Navy ships in Sri Lanka

The INS Tarangini has visited Sri Lankan ports a number of times (Photo: Indian Navy)

India has deployed a fleet of six vessels—five from the Indian Navy and one from the Indian Coast Guard to Sri Lanka for training.

India’s defence ties with its southern neighbour are on the upswing once again as the two nations embark upon stronger ties through capacity building, training and discussions on the security situation in the South Asian region.

In the last fortnight, Indian Army chief General MM Naravane visited Colombo even as the Indian Army held exercises with Sri Lanka. In September, the Indian Navy had held naval drills with the Sri Lankan forces.

India Narrative profiles the ships that are on a training visit to the island nation.

INS Shardul
This is an amphibious warship or a Tank Landing Ship, which is designed to carry transport trucks, battle tanks and troops.

India had deployed the ship for humanitarian assistance in 2020 to bring back Indian citizens from Gulf countries during the covid-19 times as part of Operation Samudra Setu-I. The challenge for the ship was to ensure that no outbreak of the infection took place among the expatriates being brought home.

The ship was used again in 2021 as part of Operation Samudra Setu-II when it brought liquid medical oxygen in cylinders and cryogenic containers from the Gulf countries during India's devastating second wave of Covid-19.

INS Magar
This imparts training to young officers in seamanship, navigation, ship-handling along with other skills such as engineering and electrical.

It was deployed during Operation Samudra Setu-I to ferry Indian citizens from the Maldives during the Covid-19 days in 2020.

It has earlier participated in amphibious exercises, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. It was deployed during the 2004 Tsunami when it carried relief to the survivors.
Among its war time efforts was to participate in Operation Pawan where it supported the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in 1987-1990 by providing logistic supplies.

INS Sujata
The ship is a patrol vessel, designed to undertake fleet support operations, coastal and offshore patrolling, ocean surveillance and monitoring of Sea Lines of Communication and offshore assets, and escort duties.

It is currently being used for training cadets and is part of the 1st Training Squadron of the Southern Naval Command. It has about 200 crew which includes around 65 officer  trainees, and 20 officers and 115 sailors.

INS Sujata was pressed into service in 2019 to assist Mozambique with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to set up medical camps and provide food, water, blankers and relief materials.

INS Tarangini
A sail training ship of the Indian Navy, it has three masts and was constructed in Goa to the specifications of a British naval architect and designer. With its unique design, the Indian Navy seeks to infuse the spirit of adventure and courage among its officers.

In 2003-04, Tarangini became the first Indian naval ship to circumnavigate the globe with a view to building bridges with other countries and cultures. Called a tall ship, it has vowed people with its colourful masts.

The ship has also participated in international yatch competitions and has been a frequent visitor to Sri Lankan ports.

INS Sudarshini
This beautiful training ship with sails was designed by a naval architect and yacht designer from the UK. Among its stand-out features are the three masts that make the ship conspicuous on any port in the world.

The ship imparts sail training, navigation and seamanship skills to nearly 30 trainee officers. A tall ship due to its sails, it familiarises trainees with the nuances of winds, current, sea and weather.

One of its most interesting events was in 2014 when it participated in the commemoration of the 1,000th anniversary of Tamil king Rajendra Chola who had spread his empire from Ganga to South-East Asia.

ICGS Vikram
Vikram is reportedly the first Make in India ship manufactured by a private company. The indigenous offshore patrol vessel (OPV) has been designed and manufactured by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) with state-of-art technology and advanced communication and navigational systems.

Vikram is fitted with pollution response machinery to tackle oil spills at high seas.  It also carries helicopters and high speed boats.

ICGS Vikram, which is a search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrol vessel has been regularly involved in responding to search and rescue missions related to fishermen as well as stranded vessels on the sea.