MANILA, Philippines—Navy ships of the Philippines and India, a rival of China, held maritime exercises in the West Philippine Sea on Monday (Aug. 23) in a sign of deepening defense ties.
Philippine Navy frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) welcomed the two Indian Navy ships— INS Ranvijay, a guided missile destroyer, and INS Kora, a guided missile corvette—on the northwestern coast of Palawan where they conducted several operational maneuvers at sea, the Naval Forces West (Navforwest) said in a statement.
“Both navies were very much satisfied with the outcome of these interactions that focus on enhanced interoperability and collaboration,” the Navforwest said.
“The INS Ranvijay and INS Kora were deployed by the Indian Navy to improve maritime security coordination with partner nations such as the Philippines who have both enjoyed a long-standing friendly relationship for seventy-two years,” it added.
The exercise was conducted in a contactless manner due to the pandemic. All health and safety protocols were strictly observed.
Luna just participated in the US-led Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), a maritime exercise which concluded recently.
The Indian ships are headed to Manila for replenishment.
Manila and New Delhi are both confronting territorial conflicts with Beijing. The two countries have earlier agreed to step up bilateral cooperation, including in the areas of defense and maritime sectors.
Early this year, the Philippines and India signed a key pact on defense equipment procurement, which was likely to include BrahMos supersonic missiles.
Subscribe to our global nation newsletter