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 Three Indian Naval Ships have arrived in Singapore as part of the operational deployment of the Navy’s Eastern Fleet to the South China Sea, underscoring the strong linkages between both navies.

Led by Rear Admiral Rajesh Dhankha, Indian Naval Ships Delhi, Shakti, and Kiltan reached the city-state on Monday, the Indian Navy spokesperson said in a post on X. The visit is part of the “Op Deployment of #IndianNavy’s @IN_EasternFleet to the #SouthChinaSea,” it said, amidst China flexing its muscles in the South China Sea.

Currently, the Chinese navy is involved in a standoff with the US-backed Philippines naval ships in the South China Sea.

The Philippines is trying to assert its claim over the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea which is strongly resisted by China.

China claims most of the South China Sea. The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims.

The three Indian naval ships were welcomed by personnel of the Singapore Navy and the High Commissioner of India in Singapore.

The “visit is poised to further strengthen the longstanding friendship and cooperation between the two maritime nations through a series of engagements and activities,” the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi said in a statement.

During the ships’ stay in the harbour, various activities are planned. These include “interactions with the High Commission of India, professional interactions with the Republic of Singapore Navy as also academia and community outreach amongst other activities, reflecting the shared values of both navies,” it said.

The two countries’ navies have had robust relations spanning three decades of cooperation, coordination and collaboration with regular visits, exchange of best practices, and reciprocal training arrangements.

“The current deployment underscores the strong linkages between both the navies,” the statement said.