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Indo-UK Naval exercises underway
A British nuclear task force is engaging the Indian navy in the biggest naval exercises between the two sides in four decades.

'Konkan 2006' is a sign of just how important India is being seen as a major international military force.

Exercises like these, which were unthinkable till a few years ago, reflect the new strategic equation between India and countries like the UK and the US.

Today, western powers are going out of their way to cultivate India.

Action in Arabian Sea


The cutting edge of the Indian Navy - including the destroyer Mumbai, the frigates Brahmaputra and Ganga and the submarine Shankush - are in the thick of action in the Arabian Sea, taking on powerful and state of the art warships.

“These exercises would not have happened a few years back. It is a sign of the changing times. India and the UK are strategic partners,” said Sir Michael Arthur, British High Commissioner.

Apart from war games, this is a demonstration of Britain's state-of-the-art helicopter EH 101 - one that they are hoping India will buy.

But a greater attraction for India are the British sea harrier jets.

The Indian navy, which already uses the jets, is looking at buying more, and price negotiations are underway.

"The Indian Navy is extremely capable. We don't do this sort of exercise with just anyone, but we are entirely comfortable operating with the Indians," said Bob Cooling, Commander of HMS Illustrious.

Perhaps that sense of comfort is because both countries use common war machines like the sea harriers.

But the exercises, dubbed War At Sea, aren't designed for a comfort zone.

Instead, the war games are testing the fighting skills of the thousands of personnel involved in Konkan 2006.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 7:06 AM

 

 
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