Prime News, International and National, Defence, Navies, Konkan Coast, October 26:- The sea phase of maiden bilateral tri-service exercise ‘Konkan Shakti-2021’ between the UK and Indian armed forces commenced off the Konkan coast in the Arabian Sea.
All participating units were split into two opposing forces with the aim of achieving sea control to land army ground-troops at a pre-designated site.
One force was led by the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet and comprised the flagship INS Chennai, other warships of the Indian Navy and HMS Richmond, the Royal Navy’s Type-23 frigate.
The other force operated under the United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group comprising aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, other UK and Netherland naval ships, and Indian warships.
The two forces integrated within their groups with exercises such as replenishment at sea approaches, air direction and strike operations by fighter aircraft MiG-29Ks and F-35Bs, cross control of helicopters Sea King, Chetak and Wildcat, transiting through war-at-sea scenarios and gun shoots on expendable air targets.
The simulated induction of army troops was also undertaken and was followed by setting up of a joint command operations centre. The two forces thereafter effected a rendezvous at sea with advanced air and sub-surface exercises.
The air operations included strikes on the combined formation by Indian maritime patrol aircraft Dornier, fighters of the Indian Navy MiG-29Ks, Royal Navy’s F-35Bs and Indian Air Force’s SU-30 and Jaguars, as well as a composite fly past over the formation.
The high level of interoperability displayed on the first day is also reflective of a high level of mutual trust and understanding that has been built over a period of many years. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)