NEW DELHI (Agenciess): India’s INS Karanj, a diesel attack submarine, docked in Sri Lanka over the weekend to counter China’s activities in the Indian Ocean.
The sub arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit on Saturday, the Sri Lanka Navy announced on X (formerly Twitter).
The ship was received with a ceremonial welcome and dozens of Sri Lankan naval personnel were briefed aboard the vessel. The sub’s port call comes against the backdrop of India raising concerns over research activities China is reportedly conducting in the Indian Ocean.
A Chinese ship, the Xiang Yang Hong 03, which had originally been heading to Sri Lanka, was spotted by Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) observers and maritime tracking portals in January making its way to the Maldives. Commenting on the vessel’s movements at the time, Indian Navy officials said they were “tracking” the situation amid concerns that the ship could be used to gather sensitive data. The vessel, which departed southern China last month, is expected to reach Male later this week.
The Maldives last week clarified that the Xiang Yang Hong 03 will not be conducting research in its waters and was allowed to dock at China’s request to make a port call “for the rotation of personnel” and replenishment of provisions.