The annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom (UK), Konkan 2023, was held from March 20 to 22 off the Konkan coast in the Arabian Sea, according to the Navy.
According to the Navy, INS Trishul, an Indian Navy guided missile frigate, and HMS Lancaster, a Royal Navy Type 23 guided missile frigate, participated in this edition of the exercise and underwent several maritime manoeuvres to improve interoperability and absorb best practises.
“The exercises covered all domains of maritime operations — air, surface, and sub-surface — and included gunnery shoots on the surface inflatable target ‘Killer Tomato,’ helicopter operations, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), ship manoeuvres, and personnel exchange,” the Navy said in a statement.
It went on to say that the exercise provided good training for soldiers from both navies. During its execution, a high level of expertise and enthusiasm was also obvious.
#Konkan2023 was held between #IndianNavy & @RoyalNavy, 20-22 Mar 23 in the Arabian Sea off the Konkan Coast.#INSTrishul & @HMSLANCASTER engaged in gun shoots, anti-air exercises, ASW tracking, helicopter flying and manoeuvres.
🇮🇳-🇬🇧 #BridgesofFriendship pic.twitter.com/sZooVYrcpU
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) March 23, 2023
“The emphasis personnel demonstrated on operational readiness, interoperability, and the ability to conduct joint operations will go a long way towards bolstering the combined efforts of the IN and RN to strengthen maritime security and uphold a rules-based order in the region,” the Navy said in a statement.
According to the navy, preparations for the exercise began more than three months ago.
The two navies held the initial planning meeting for Exercise Konkan-23 on December 1 last year in Mumbai, where both sides worked out operational and administrative components of the exercise’s conduct.
Previously, the Navy stated that bilateral exercises and contact between the two navies had gotten stronger over time as a result of developing geopolitical considerations and anticipated challenges in the region.