This is the first time when India and the UK armed forces’ all three services are participating in Konkan Shakti exercise

The sea phase of the first bilateral tri-service exercise ‘Konkan Shakti 2021’ between India and the UK has begun off the Konkan coast in the Arabian Sea. This was informed by the Chief PRO, Directorate of Public Relations of the Ministry of Defence through a tweet on Tuesday.

According to an Indian Navy official, all participating units were split into two opposing forces with the aim of achieving 'sea control' to land Army ground-troops at a pre-designated site.

“All 3 Services from the Indian and UK Armed Forces exercising simultaneously in exercise Konkan Shakti-21 conducted by the 2 countries to date. CSG21 aircraft and ships participating side by side with our Indian counterparts developing interoperability” Commander UK Carrier Strike Group tweeted.

One force was led by the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet and comprised the flagship INS Chennai, other warships of the Indian Navy and HMS Richmond, the Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate. The other force operated under the UK Carrier Strike Group comprising aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, other UK and Netherland naval ships, and Indian warships.

The official further said that the two forces integrated within their groups with exercises such as replenishment at sea approaches, air direction and strike operations by fighter aircraft (MiG 29Ks and F35Bs), cross control of helicopters (Sea King, Chetak and Wildcat), transiting through war-at-sea scenarios, and gun shoots on expendable air targets.

“The simulated induction of Army troops was also undertaken and was followed by setting up of a joint command operations centre. The two forces thereafter affected a rendezvous at sea with advanced air and sub-surface exercises,” said the official.