UK-India annual bilateral maritime exercise Konkan exhibited op-readiness, interoperability and joint operations

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MUMBAI: Konkan 2023, a joint maritime exercise, was conducted between the Royal Navy of Britain and the Indian Navy and it exhibited op-readiness, enhance interoperability and conduct joint operations.

The annual military drill was held from March 20 to 22, 2023 off the Konkan coast in the Arabian Sea, read a press release b the Ministry of Defence.

The joint drill by the two navies demonstrated operational readiness, enhancing interoperability and improving the ability to conduct joint operations. The exercise will go a long way in bolstering the combined efforts of the Indian Navy and Royal Navy to strengthen maritime security and uphold a rules-based order in the region, added the release.

INS Trishul, a guided missile frigate, and HMS Lancaster, a Type 23 guided missile frigate, participated in this edition and undertook multiple maritime drills to enhance interoperability and imbibe best practices.

The exercises covered all domains of maritime operations, air, surface and sub-surface, and included gunnery shoots on surface inflatable target ‘Killer Tomato’, helicopter operations, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), ship manoeuvres and exchange of personnel, added the release.

The exercise yielded excellent training value to personnel of both navies. A high level of professionalism and enthusiasm was also evident during its conduct.

India and UK agreed to significant new cooperation on Maritime Domain Awareness, which includes new agreements on maritime information sharing, an invitation to the UK to join India’s Information Fusion Centre in Gurugram, and an ambitious exercise program that includes joint tri-lateral exercises.

In maritime cooperation, the engagements between the countries are increasing. The UK will be deploying a Carrier Strike Group in the Indian Ocean region this year in line with its strategic tilt to Indo-Pacific.

The UK is an important partner for fostering peace and security in the world. Both face similar kinds of security threats and challenges (terrorism, extremism).

They have reaffirmed and strengthened Defence cooperation, with capacity building, technology development & transfers, joint military exercises (Ajeya Warrior-Army; Konkan-Naval; Indradhanush Force), intelligence sharing, etc. at its core.

India considers the defence sector as one of the major areas where the bilateral partnership could be expanded around the ‘Make in India’ campaign.

Around 70 defence-related companies across the UK supply various goods for aircraft, helicopter, manufacturing, overhaul at HAL like ejection seats, fuel tank kits, hydraulic pumps, engine spares etc and support legacy platforms like Jaguar, Mirage & Kiran. (ANI)

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