Haifa (Israel): Bolstering the robust ties between Israel and India, INS Trikand, a frontline warship of the Indian Navy, made a call at the port of Haifa on Wednesday, an official said.

The ship will remain in Haifa for four days, during which “extensive engagements” have been planned with the Israeli Navy, said an official statement.

“In addition to professional interactions, various sports and social engagements are planned to further enhance cooperation and understanding between the two navies,” it said.

“The bonds developed through such events strengthen the established mechanisms of maritime cooperation between the two countries while pursuing common goals of safe and secure seas.” The last port call in Haifa by an Indian Navy warship was in 2012.

The visit is part of the Indian Navy’s mission of building bridges of friendship and strengthening international cooperation with “friendly countries”.

The four-day visit also aims at reaffirming the Indian Navy’s peaceful presence and solidarity with the countries in the region, thereby allowing both Israel and India to meet the ever-growing challenges of the maritime environment, the statement said.

It added that bilateral interactions between India and Israel have seen rapid growth across a broad spectrum since establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations in 1992 and has thrived on the common principles of democracy, liberal outlook and similar strengths of the knowledge industry.

“Within this conducive environment of warmth friendship, defence and agriculture have become the main pillars of bilateral engagements. India has acquired critical defence technologies from Israel, notable among them being the Barak-I missile system for the Indian Navy,” the statement said.

INS Trikand, commanded by Captain Vinay Kalia, is the latest warship of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors to address threats in all dimensions – air, surface and sub-surface.

The visiting ship is part of the Indian Navy’s western fleet and is under the operational command of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, with its headquarters in Mumbai.

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