India, UK hold joint naval exercise in Bay of Bengal

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The bilateral maritime exercise was designed to hone the ability of the two navies to operate together in the maritime domain…reports Asian Lite News.

The Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of United Kingdom carried out a two-day maritime drill in the Bay of Bengal starting Wednesday to augment interoperability and adaptability in the ever-changing security scenarios.

It was a two-day bilateral Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG)-21 led by HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Navy said.

The bilateral maritime exercise was designed to hone the ability of the two navies to operate together in the maritime domain.

The maiden exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, included the participation of CSG-21 comprising Type 23 Frigates and an Astute-class submarine in addition to the other surface combatants.

The Indian Navy was represented by IN ships Satpura, Ranvir, Jyoti, Kavaratti, Kulish and a submarine.

Anti-submarine warfare capable long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I also participated in the exercise.

With the presence of the CSG-21 in the Indian Ocean, the exercise offered excellent opportunity to engage over the entire spectrum of maritime operations, including ASW, anti-air and anti-surface warfare.

The exercise also witnessed the maiden participation of the F35B Lightning which operates from the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Regular Indian Navy and Royal Navy 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,” the Indian Navy stated.

According to an official statement issued by the British High Commission in New Delhi, “The two countries are in the middle of a carrier renaissance, and the CSG is spearheading the UK’s joint expeditionary capability.”

“An Indian warship will also go for an exercise with the Royal Navy off the coast of the UK in August,” the statement added.

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