India’s prestigious naval ship was in London to join the India-UK “Year of Culture” celebrations. High Commissioner Sinha, Sachin Tendulkar among top dignitaries welcome the ship to London….reports Asian Lite News
High Commissioner YK Sinha, Deputy High Commissioner Mr. Dinesh K. Patnaik, Sports legend Sachin Tendulkar among several prominent members of the Indian community welcome Indian Naval Ship Tarkash came alongside at West India Docks, Canary Wharf, London.
She is being commanded by Captain Rituraj Sahu. The naval vessel is a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet, also called the Sword Arm of the Indian Navy based at Mumbai, on the West Coast of India.
The ship was in London to join the India-UK “Year of Culture” celebrations. A special evening was organised onboard the INS Tarkash commemorating 200 years of HMS Trincomalee – the oldest warship afloat in the world which was built in India.
As a part of Indian Navy’s overseas deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic and West Coast Africa, INS Tarkash alongwith Indian Warships INS Mumbai, INS Trishul and replenishment ship INS Aditya sailed from Mumbai on 5th April. The Task Group is being headed by Rear Admiral RB Pandit, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, who is flying his flag onboard INS Mumbai, presently in the Mediterranean.
Besides Mr Sinha, High Commissioner of India, Sir Michael Fallon KCB, PC – Secretary of State for Defence, Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB, ADC – The First Sea Lord and CNS of the Royal Navy, Professor Andrew Lambert, The Laughton Professor of Naval History at Kings College, London and author of ‘Trincomalee, the last of Nelson’s frigates’, Admiral Sir Jonathan Band GCB, DL – Former First Sea Lord, and presently, Chairman of Trustees of the National Museums of the Royal Navy Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL – Member of the House of Lords, and Col Euan Houstoun OBE, President of the Trincomalee Trust were among the dignitaries hosted by Captain Rituraj Sahu, Commanding Officer, INS Tarkash during the ceremony.
The visit, sought to underscore India’s solidarity with friendly and like-minded countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and the United Kingdom. This visit of INS Tarkash to Plymouth and London will certainly forge ahead the existing friendly relations between the two nations in general and the two Navies, in particular.
INS Tarkash is the second of the three latest Stealth Frigates acquired from Russia and was commissioned in November, 2012. The ship gets its name, from a Sanskrit word meaning a “Quiver” of arrows, reminiscent of the epic Battles of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Tarkash is truly a “Quiver” of a high density of weapons and sensors manned by its highly motivated crew, making her one of the most potent platforms of the Indian Navy.
Tarkash made an early “mark for herself” in 2015 during Operation Rahat, a non-combatant evacuation operation by the Indian Navy. In this operation, Tarkash undertook evacuation of 538 civilians of 18 nationalities from war-torn Yemen. More recently, during this current mission, INS Tarkash participated in support of an anti-hijacking operation onboard MV OS-35 off Yemen in Gulf of Aden on 09 Apr 17.
Indian Naval assets have been increasingly deployed in recent times to address the main maritime concerns of the region, including piracy, off the coast of Somalia. In addition, the Indian Navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with Hydrographic Survey, Search and Rescue, EEZ Surveillance and other such capability-building and capacity-enhancement activities.
Naval cooperation between India and the United Kingdom has been based on the long term relationship between both countries. Both Navies have, over the years, undertaken bilateral activities such as training exchanges and technical cooperation.
INS Tarkash arrived Plymouth on May 17 on a long-range deployment to the United Kingdom to participate in the annual bi-lateral Maritime Exercise KONKAN-17, named after the Western Coastal Region of India, institutionalised in 2004.
The Bilateral KONKAN 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 have, over the years come a long way and grown in the scale. KONKAN-17 Exercise which terminated on 06 May 17, marks an important Chapter in the maritime interactions between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy to familiarise Planning Processes, enhance synergy and above all inter-operability.
KONKAN-17 was conducted from 02 to 06 May 17 with units participating from both the Navies. The harbour phase was conducted at Plymouth from 02-04 May 17, which was followed by the Sea Phase from 05-06 May 17. HMS Richmond and INS Tarkash, their integral helicopters and other units participated in the exercise. Several joint exercises and maneuverex, including exchange of Sea Riders personnel were undertaken during the two day exercise at sea.
The exercise was aimed at delivering mutual benefit from each others’ experience and is indicative of the continuing cooperation between the two countries. The interoperability achieved over the years as a result of such exercise has proved to be beneficial to both Navies. This will further enhance bilateral ties between both maritime nations and greater cooperation. The ship had professional interactions with the Royal Navy to promote cooperation and shared exchanges on Naval Operations including Disaster Management, Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Piracy. The Naval cooperation is a tangible symbol of the commitment of both nations in ensuring a positive climate at sea for enhancing stability, security and promoting economic prosperity.