The Indian Naval Ship (INS) VISAKHAPATNAM arrived at Al-Shuwaikh Port for an Operational Turn Around visit on Aug 19, 2023. The visit of the ship adds a new chapter to the bilateral navy to navy cooperation, says a press release issued by the Indian Embassy in Kuwait. It is in continuation of the increased maritime cooperation witnessed during 2021 with five Indian Naval Ships visiting Kuwait for transporting liquid medical Oxygen followed by visit of INS TEG in July 2022 and three ships from First Training Squadron having a Port Call at Kuwait in October 2022. INS VISAKHAPATNAM is the lead ship and the first of the Visakhapatnam class stealth guided missile destroyers.

Built indigenously by Mazagon Dock Limited, the ship was commissioned on 21 November 2021 and is one of the largest destroyers in service with Indian Navy. This 164m ship is fitted with the most advanced state of the art navigation and communication equipment, sensors, radars and electronic warfare capability. The ship is equipped to carry two Helicopters. Rear Admiral Vineet S McCarthy, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet is also onboard the ship. During its three days of Port Call, various professional and training interactions are planned with Kuwait Naval forces.

The ship will also be kept open for visit by Indian citizens and schoolchildren besides hosting various cultural activities. On Aug 22, there will be a PASSEX conducted with Kuwait navy. Visit of INS Visakhapatnam to Kuwait is a testimony of the historic maritime partnership which has contributed towards building the strong India-Kuwait partnership. The visit highlights Indian Navy’s commitment to establish cooperative partnerships with friendly countries, particularly in the Indian Ocean region to combat maritime challenges together. It is also expected to further strengthen the defense ties between the two countries.

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