The United Kingdom’s Carrier Strike Group (CGS), which is led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier met the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal for maritime exercises, the British government said on Thursday.
The naval exercise will span over a period of 3-day. The different ranges of combined exercise between the Indian and Royal Navy will include multi-ship, air, sea and sub-surface maritime evolutions, as well as close-quarter manoeuvring.
Furthermore, the combined exercise will witness the participation of 10 ships, two submarines, approximately 20 aircraft and almost 4,000 personnel.
This will enable smooth cooperation between the naval forces of the two nations to enhance their strength and unity. Moreover, both forces will also get a chance to advance their interoperability and cooperation ahead of further exercises when the CSG returns to the Indian Ocean in the autumn.
Ahead of the initial meeting, UK’s First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, Admiral Sir Tony Radaki emphasised that this is a month in which the Indian and Royal Navy will work together and enhance the strength and significance of the relationship between both the nations..
“This is a month that will see the Royal Navy and Indian Navy meet and work together in two oceans – beginning in the Indian Ocean as the UK Carrier Strike Group arrives for the first of multiple UK-India exercises and events,” said Sir Tony Radaki.
“Later this summer, both will participate in a separate exercise in the Atlantic Ocean. The deployment is proof of the strength, energy and significance of the growing relationship between our navies,” he added.
The CSG will sail over 26,000 nautical miles, engaging with 40 countries from the Mediterranean to the Indo-Pacific and back again to mark its maiden operational deployment.
The fifth-generation HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier, at 65,000 tonnes, is said to be the largest surface vessel ever constructed in the UK and leads six Royal Navy ships, a Royal Navy submarine, a US Navy destroyer and a frigate from the Netherlands in one of the largest concentration of maritime and air power from the UK.