According to a press release of the Indian Navy, Indian Naval Ships Sumedha, an indigenously build Offshore Patrol vessel, and Kulish, an indigenously built guided missile corvette, are scheduled to make a port call at the historic port town of Mongla in Bangladesh from 8th to 10th March 2021 to commemorate the ongoing Swarnim Vijay Varsh and reiterating the historic Indo-Bangladeshi friendship.
This is the first time that any Indian Naval Ship is visiting the port of Mongla in Bangladesh. The visit is aimed at paying homage to the Bangladeshi and Indian combatants and citizens who laid down their lives during the Liberation War of 1971 and reiterated India’s firm resolve and commitment to maintaining peace, stability, and good order in the region, in line with SAGAR – Security and Growth for all in the Region, as articulated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
On behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff, the Commanding Officers of the ships will call on the senior Bangladesh Navy hierarchy to reaffirm the Indian Navy’s solidarity and partnership with the Bangladesh Navy. Following all Covid-19 protocols, the ships’ crew will also participate in professional and cultural exchanges and friendly sports fixtures with their counterparts in the Bangladesh Navy, further enhancing synergy between the two navies.
Indian Navy ships INS Sumedha & INS Kulish
INS Sumedha (P59) is the third Saryu class patrol vessel of the Indian Navy, designed and constructed indigenously by the Goa Shipyard Limited. It is intended to undertake fleet support operations, coastal and offshore patrolling, ocean surveillance, and sea lines of communications and offshore assets and escort duties. The vessel is powered by two Pielstick diesel engines rated at a combined 21,725 metric horsepower (15,979 kW), each driving a Wärtsilä WCP 5C10 controllable-pitch propeller through a reduction gearbox.
INS Kulish is a Kora-class corvette, currently in active service with the Indian Navy. She was ordered in October 1994 and was laid in October 1995. She was launched in August 1997 and was commissioned on 20 August, 2001.
Kulish is the third of the four Kora-class corvettes designed under Project25A. She is armed with four quad-launchers for 3M-24 anti-ship missiles (Russian: Kh-35 Uran, NATO: SS-N-25 Switchblade), powered by two diesel engines. A HAL Chetak or HAL Dhruv helicopter can operate from the vessel. She also has anti-air shoulder-launched missiles (Strela-2M (Nato code name: SA-N-5 Grail)). The Strela-2M has a range of 4.2 km (2.6 mi) and a Mach 1.75. INS Kulish is equipped with two Igla surface-to-air missile launchers.
Port of Mongla
The Port of Mongla is the second busiest seaport of Bangladesh. It is located in Bagerhat District in the southwestern part of the country; and lies 62 kilometres north of the Bay of Bengal coastline. Mongla is one of the major ports of the Bengal delta. Mongla is located 48 kilometres from the city of Khulna, which is a regional industrial center. Due to increasing congestion in Bangladesh’s largest port in Chittagong, many international shipping companies have turned to Mongla as an alternative.