October 16, 2013 idrw.org (IANS)
An Indian Navy destroyer and a Royal Navy frigate Tuesday began the ninth edition of annual Konkan-13 exercise off India’s western coast, with the focus on asymmetric operations, anti-air warfare and boarding, search and seizure of ships.
The Konkan series of bilateral exercises commenced in 2004 and eight such exercises have been conducted till now, an Indian Navy statement said.
“These exercises provide an opportunity to both the navies to work together at sea and in harbour to build interoperability, and to share best practices among the crew,” it said.
The harbour phase of the exercise would involve professional discussions, interactions and social functions, while the sea phase will have exercises in various surface and air dimensions of naval operations.
Indian Navy will be represented by INS Delhi, an indigenously built destroyer hosting a Chetak helicopter and accompanied by shore-based aircraft. It is commanded by Capt. Sandeep Mehta.
The Royal Navy would be represented by HMS Westminster, a Type 23 Frigate, commanded by Capt. Hugh Beard.
The thrust of the exercise this year would be on asymmetric operations, anti-air warfare and Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) exercises.
“The cooperation between the two navies is a positive and tangible symbol of commitment in ensuring a positive climate for maritime security and economic development,” the statement said.
“Such exercise between the two navies manifest growing friendship between the two nations, with an aim to maintain peace and stability in the Indian Ocean Region,” it further adds.