NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy and the Carrier Strike Group HMS Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy conducted a two-day Passage Exercise in the Bay of Bengal.
The exercise was designed to hone the ability of the two navies to operate together in the maritime domain was held on Wednesday and Thursday. It's the maiden joint exercise of the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier.
Indian Navy, in a press release, said, “HMS Queen Elizabeth CSG-21 comprises of Type 23 Frigates and an Astute-class submarine in addition to the other surface combatants. Indian Navy was represented by INS Ships Satpura, Ranvir, Jyoti, Kavaratti, Kulish, and a submarine. Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft P8I which is capable of anti-submarine warfare also participated in the exercise.”
The ongoing exercise involves the entire spectrum of maritime operations including Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Air, and Anti-Surface warfare. The exercise also witnessed the maiden participation of the F-35 B Lightning which operates from the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
It was a significant exercise that had the combined forces equating to 10 ships, two submarines, approximately 20 aircraft, and almost 4,000 personnel.
Regular IN-RN interactions over the years have augmented their professional content, interoperability, and adaptability in the ever-changing security scenarios. The inter-operability achieved over the years has ensured a quantum jump in the complexity and scale of professional exchanges which is being further enhanced by the presence of the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group in the Indian Ocean. There are more exercises planned between the two navies in the future.
The maritime partnership exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy will see them conducting a range of multi-ship, air, sea, and sub-surface maritime evolutions and close-quarter manoeuvring.
An Indian warship will also participate in the drill with the Royal Navy off the British coast in August.
The UK High Commission in India said, “This is a month that will see the Royal Navy and Indian Navy meet and work together in two oceans -– beginning in the Indian Ocean as the UK Carrier Strike Group arrives for the first of multiple UK-India exercises and events. Later this summer, both will participate in a separate exercise in the Atlantic Ocean.”