With expanding profile in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Indian Navy is looking to add dedicated helicopters for Special Operations in its fleet. Some of the Naval Multi-Role Helicopters (NMRH) for which the tender was issued last week will be in this configuration. Of the 123 NMRH to be procured, 33 will be dedicated variants for Special Operations, a senior officer told The Hindu.
Sri Lanka today welcomed External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to the nation to attend two-day Indian Ocean Conference from tomorrow. We will be very pleased to have the presence of the Indian foreign minister, Sri Lankan foreign Minister Thilak Marapona said. The conference will be all about what is going to happen in the Indian Ocean region in the future. Sri Lanka is expected to discuss strategies of combating drug smuggling in the two-day conference, Marapona said.
Besides, the immediate security concern, India's stand on Doklam is also influenced by the message the outcome of stand-off will send to these neighbouring countries. For the last two and half months Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in face-off at the Doklam plateau in Bhutan. The IONS is an India initiative to increase maritime cooperation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region. While China has been reaching out with big bucks, India has decided to take a more benign approach.