Navies of India and the United Kingdom over the years have undertaken bilateral activities which are enhancing maritime cooperation between the two countries.
Navies of India and the United Kingdom over the years have undertaken bilateral activities which are enhancing maritime cooperation between the two countries. Based on the long term strategic partnership, nine day long KONKAN-2018 (Nov 28-Dec 6) off Goa has taken off with units participating from both navies.
The aim of the exercise this year would be on anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, visit board search and seizure (VBSS) and seamanship evolutions. Besides exercises at sea, KONKAN-2018 also encompasses professional interactions and sports fixtures.
According to the official spokesperson of the Indian Navy, Capt DK Sharma, “Such exercise provides a platform for the two Navies to periodically exercise at sea and in harbour, so as to build interoperability and share best practices.”
The KONKAN series of exercises commenced in 2004, and since then has grown in scale. The harbour phase is scheduled from Nov 28-30, followed by the sea phase from Dec 2-6 in which the Royal Navy will be represented by HMS Dragon, a Type 45 Class Destroyer equipped with an integral Wildcat helicopter.
The Indian Navy is sending in INS Kolkata, the first ship of latest Kolkata class destroyers, equipped with integral Seaking Helicopter and an Indian Navy submarine. In addition, navy’s maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier will also participate in the exercise.
The regular interaction between the Indian Navy and Royal Navy over the years has resulted in an increase in the professional content of the bilateral exercise. The KONKAN – 2018 is aimed at mutually benefiting from each others’ experiences and the continuing cooperation between the two countries.
The interoperability achieved over the years as a result of such exercises has proved to be operationally beneficial to both navies. The naval cooperation is a tangible symbol of the commitment of both nations in ensuring a positive climate at sea for enhancing strategic stability and promoting economic prosperity.