India, Germany to begin Naval exercise Tuesday

April 7th, 2008 - 9:03 pm ICT by admin  

Kochi (Kerala), April 7 (IANS) India and Germany will conduct bilateral naval exercise in the Arabian Sea for three days, beginning Tuesday. Three German warships, FGS Hamburg, FGS Koln and FGS Berlin, commanded by Captain Michael Budde, will take part in the exercise.

Two ships from India, INS Tir and INS Krishna, will take part.

“On the first day, seamanship and manoeuvring exercises will be taken up and from the second day more complicated exercises will be undertaken with the involvement of India’s Western Naval Command,” said Budde at an interaction with reporters on board Flagship Hamburg Monday.

The exercise will involve about 700 German naval personnel. Budde said he hoped the exercise would become a regular feature in coming years.

Rear Admiral Karl-Wilhelm Bollow, the commander of German flotilla 2, to which the three warships belong, said Germany was keen on cooperation with other navies. “This year we are emphasising on cooperation with South African, Indian and French navies,” he said.

The German warships are in India after conducting joint exercise with South African forces.

German Ambassador in New Delhi Bernd Mutzelberg, who was present at the interaction, said: “Strategic partnership with India has already assumed intensive dimension.”

The bilateral trade between India and Germany has doubled from 5 billion euros to 10 billion euros in three years. “Every week a German company is starting business in India. There is also tremendous increase in the military cooperation following the defence cooperation agreement signed in 2006,” he added.

The ambassador said Germany was willing to help India modernise armed forces and transfer technology.

In a region, which was witnessing a lot of instability, India was a stable ‘rule of law oriented state’ and also secular, he said.

Mutzelberg said his country was looking forward to the visit of Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony this year.

He added that Germany would bid for supplying fighter aircraft and submarines to India.

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