India, Turkey navy wargames begin SundayJuly 7th, 2011 - 12:50 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) Indian and Turkish navies will embark on a two-day major war game in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai beginning Sunday, when four warships from each side will match their sea battle skills, an Indian Navy officer said Wednesday.
The four Turkish warships that will join the exercise are scheduled to make a port call in Mumbai Thursday, reaching here from Karachi port in Pakistan where they had docked a week earlier.
Frigates TCG (Turkish Republic Ship) Barbaros, TCG Gelibolu, and TCG Gemlik, supported by a fleet tanker TCG YBK Gungor will be the Turkish ensemble for the war game, the officer said.
Incidentally, Barbaros runs on the same engine as that of India’s latest indigenous stealth frigate INS Shivalik that was commissioned last year in Mumbai. The other two Turkish frigates are of the Gabya class.
The warships are in India in the last leg of their Indian Ocean deployment and this Turkish Naval Task Group is headed by Rear Admiral A. Sinan Ertugrul.
Indian Navy will be represented in the drill by INS Mumbai, a Delhi-class guided missile destroyer, INS Betwa and INS Brahmaputra, both Beas-class frigates, and a Shishukumar-class HDW diesel-electric submarine. The air element in the exercise will be an Indian Navy Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, the officer said.
“The exercise will include anti-submarine warfare, coordinated strike and interdiction drills, besides other manoeuvres in the seas that are expected to be fairly rough,” he added.
The Turkish Navy, which is part of the anti-piracy Nato-sponsored Combined Task Force-151, has led the mission a number of times. A Turkish navy frigate TCG Giresun was recently part of a joint effort with Indian Navy Dornier aircraft in thwarting a pirate attack on a Chinese-owned bulk carrier MV Full City in the Arabian Sea in the first week of May.
Indian Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma was in Turkey from June 13 to 16, while the Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik was there in April 2010. Turkish Naval Forces commander Admiral Esref Yugur Yigit visited India in December 2010 on a reciprocal visit.
Turkey has a fairly respectable naval ship-building industry and India sees a possibility of mutual cooperation in this area.
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