The Indian Navy and Sri Lanka Navy will conduct Phase II of the joint oceanographic survey off the Southern and Western Coasts of Sri Lanka from 26 October to 21 December 2017.
The survey will be undertaken by Indian Naval ship INS Sutlej, which is an indigenously designed and constructed vessel that is fitted with the latest state of the art survey equipment. This would be second survey tasking that would be undertaken by Sutlej in Sri Lanka. The ship was deployed to Galle and Colombo in 2004 in the aftermath of the Tsunami to survey both the harbours. The Phase II survey would be more complex and detailed than previous surveys undertaken and would focus on waters closer to the coast as well as the coastline features.
As in the past, personnel from Survey Branch of the Sri Lanka Navy would be embarked onboard the ship to take part in the conduct of the survey. Consolidation training would also be conducted for the embarked Sri Lanka Navy personnel so that the knowledge during previous interactions could be built upon. This deployment of the ship presents an opportunity for both navies to learn from each other in the highly specialised field of Hydrography and would serve to build on the strong professional bonds that exist between the two navies.
During its deployment, INS Sutlej will also undertake a series of community welfare activities, sports and professional training exchanges with Sri Lanka Navy personnel.
In May 2017 the one and half month long Phase I of the joint oceanographic survey was successfully completed by both the navies. INS Darshak, an Indian Naval survey vessel had visited Sri Lanka for the purpose. The joint survey resulted in generation of extensive oceanographic data that is currently being used for updating all information and navigational charts covering the Southern Sri Lankan waters so as to make navigation safer for all users of the sea. (Colombo Gazette)