Operation ‘Samudra Setu’: Three ships sent to evacuate Indians from abroad
New Delhi, May 06: The Indian Navy on Tuesday announced Operation 'Samudra Setu', meaning Sea Bridge, to evacuate its citizens stranded in the Maldives and UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Operation ‘Samudra Setu':
Three Navy ships, INS Jalashwa and INS Magar, are currently enroute to the port of Male, in the Maldives, to commence evacuation from May 8 as part of phase I, the Ministry of Defence said in a press release. While INS Shardul diverted to Dubai to evacuate the expatriates, the spokesperson added.
INS Magar and INS Shardul are Southern Naval Command ships, while INS Jalashwa is from Eastern Naval Command.
INS Jalashwa - a Sanskrit name for the Hippopotamus - with its motto The Fearless Pioneers, is an amphibious assault ship that can embark, transport and land various elements of an amphibious force to support operations ashore. Being the second largest ship in the Indian Navy's inventory, she is capable of undertaking amphibious operations, maritime surveillance, special operations, search & rescue, medical support and as well as humanitarian relief.
INS Magar is the lead ship of Magar-class amphibious warfare vessels of the Indian Navy. She was built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata.
She was commissioned to navy service on 15 July 1987. The ship took part in Operation Pawan by the Indian Peace Keeping Force(IPKF) in Sri Lanka. In April 2018, the ship changed base port to Kochi, INS Training command. She will undergo modifications and join First Training Squadron for training sea officers.
INS Shardul is the lead ship of the Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessels of the Indian Navy. On 3 October 2008, Shardul was affiliated to the 5 Armoured Regiment of the Indian Army in an on-board ceremony, at the Mumbai Naval Base.
Shardul started sea trials on 3 November 2006 and was commissioned into the Indian Navy, on 4 January 2007 by the defence minister A.K Antony at the naval base INS Kadamba in Karwar.