Ministry of Defence press release
- Indian Navy's jump jets to operate from British carrier
Goa, May 18: The second edition of “Konkan”, which is the name given to the generic series of exercises between the Indian Navy and the Royal (British) Navy gets underway on the west coast off Goa commencing on Wednesday.
The exercise, which will terminate in Mumbai with a ‘debrief’ on 29 May, will comprise four surface combatants, one submarine, and a variety of shore-based fixed-wing and ship borne rotary-wing aircraft from the Indian side.
The participating Indian units will be under the tactical command of the FOCWF (Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet), Rear Admiral Anup Singh. His counterpart from the Royal Navy will be Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti.
The Indian Navy will be fielding the guided-missile destroyer Mumbai, the guided-missile frigates Ganga and Brahmaputra, the fleet replenishment tanker Shakti, and the submarine Shankush. The Royal Navy task force comprises the aircraft carrier Illustrious (with her own air group), the guided-missile destroyer Gloucester, the fleet replenishment tanker Fort Victoria, the submarine support ship Diligence and the nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) Sovereign. In conformance with current practice, the Royal Navy task force has one French frigate, FNS Surcouf, embedded within it.
One of the major thrust-areas would be ‘DACT’ (Dissimilar Air Combat) and ‘COMAO’ (Combined Maritime Air Operations) between the Indian Navy’s Sea Harrier aircraft operating ex-Goa, and, the Harrier GR 7A of the Illustrious. Other aspects that would be exercised by the two navies include intermediate and advanced ASW (Anti-submarine Warfare), MIO (Maritime Interdiction Operations), VBSS (Visit, Board, Search & Seizure) procedures, NGS (Naval Gunfire Support), and tactical manoeuvres. Some of the ‘firsts’ of this exercise include combined maritime air operations by Indian Navy Sea Harrier aircraft and Royal Navy’s Harrier GR 7A, cross-deck operations by our jump jets from the deck of Illustrious and flying demonstration by the Red Arrows.
A DVP (Distinguished Visitors’ Programme) – which would also include a few representatives of the print and electronic media – has been scheduled on 23 May off Goa. The visit of Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, first Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff Royal Navy, is also scheduled from 27 May to 01 Jun to coincide with the exercise. The ‘Konkan’ series of joint exercises between the Indian and the Royal navies commenced in 2004 and has grown in scope and complexity over the years. These exercises have been hugely successful in facilitating mutual learning and interoperability between the two navies. These skills would stand both countries in good stead in several facets of naval activities, such as disaster-management. The exercise also incorporates harbour-based professional, social, and sports interaction between the two navies.
The Indian Navy lays great stress on enhancing bilateral ties and improving mutual understanding and interoperability with foreign navies through professional and operational interaction. The exercise will, in addition, provide an opportunity to showcase Indian naval ship-building capability through the participation of indigenously-built front-line ships such as Mumbai, Ganga and Brahmaputra. ‘Konkan-2006’ is a significant indicator of the continuing and growing co-operation between India and United Kingdom.