India-Britain naval exercises to tackle piracy

June 16th, 2009 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 16 (IANS) An Indian Navy task group, led by the 6,700-tonne destroyer INS Delhi, arrived in the British port of Portsmouth Tuesday ahead of joint exercises whose aims include tackling sea piracy off the African coast.
The Indian fleet, under the command of Rear Admiral Surinder Pal Singh Cheema, includes the frigates INS Beas and Brahmaputra and the tanker INS Aditya, the Indian High commission said.

The joint manoeuvres, named ‘Konkan’, are an annual event with the Royal Navy aimed at building “maritime interoperability and mutual understanding”.

The British participants, commanded by Commodore Simon Ancona, include the frigates HMS Westminster and HMS Lancaster, the nuclear powered submarine HMS Trafalgar, the auxiliaries RFA Mounts Bay and RFA Fort Rosalie and an RAF Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft.

“This is an essential and long-standing relationship as our navies are increasingly working together in the Indian Ocean tackling problems such as piracy off the coast of Africa,” Ancona said.

The combined Task Group will set sail June 20 and exercise together for six days, focusing on anti-submarine warfare.

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