In a strategic move to bolster maritime security and strengthen ties with Namibia, INS Sumedha, an Indian Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel (NOPV), made a port call at Walvis Bay, Namibia, from November 10-13, 2023. This diplomatic initiative underscores India’s commitment to fostering international cooperation and demonstrating solidarity with its allies.
During the visit, the Commanding Officer of INS Sumedha engaged in courtesy calls with Namibian dignitaries and senior defense officers. These exchanges facilitated professional interactions, cross-deck visits, and social engagements with the Namibian Navy, aimed at sharing best practices and strengthening collaborative efforts.
India and Namibia have long enjoyed warm bilateral relations, rooted in common values of democracy, development, and secularism. The nations have solidified their ties through various bilateral arrangements for cooperation and military exchanges. Over the years, India has extended training to numerous Namibian military officers in its institutions, reinforcing their defense collaboration.
The current mission aligns with the Indian Navy’s broader strategy of building ‘Bridges of Friendship’ and enhancing international cooperation. INS Sumedha’s port call not only emphasizes India’s commitment to supporting friendly nations but also seeks to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship with Namibia.
INS Sumedha, the third indigenously developed Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel (NOPV) of the Saryu class, plays a vital role independently and in support of Fleet Operations. Equipped with advanced weapon systems, sensors, navigation and communication systems, and an Electronic Warfare system, Sumedha has a proven track record in fleet support operations, coastal and offshore patrolling, ocean surveillance, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions. Notably, it played a crucial role in Op Kaveri, facilitating the evacuation of the Indian diaspora from war-torn Sudan in April 2023.
This deployment signifies India’s proactive stance in addressing global maritime concerns and reinforcing diplomatic ties through naval presence. The port call of INS Sumedha serves as a testament to India’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with Namibia and promoting peace and stability in the region.