UK, Indian Navy warships meet up for exercise Konkan in English Channel

HMS Defender and frigate Tarkash in the Channel, Aug 14, during Exercise Konkan. Photo: Royal Navy

Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender and Indian Navy frigate INS Tarkash carried out the annual bilateral exercise Konkan as they met up for a series of maneuvers in the English Channel.

The two ships met as the UK destroyer deployed for operations in Asia Pacific and the Indian frigate returned from Baltic Sea visits.

Konkan is a long-running exercise designed to test the ability of the two Commonwealth navies to operate side-by-side if it comes to the crunch.

It typically takes place off the namesake stretch of coastline in India – running for 450 miles along the Western Seaboard and encompassing Mumbai and Goa.

But when Delhi dispatches its ships on deployments to western Europe, Britain hosts the exercises on its home turf.

The pair conducted various combined training maneuvers and serials including involving anti-submarine warfare demonstrations and boarding operations.

The two ships’ helicopters – a Wildcat from Defender, a Helix from the Tarkash – traded places on the respective flight decks, while Indian and British personnel were also encouraged to step into each other’s shoes, with a select few spending several hours experiencing life in a different navy.

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