India, UK armed forces in joint tri-service exercises

As India and the UK expand their defence and strategic ties as part of a larger "Roadmap" of bilateral cooperation, all three services from the Indian and UK Armed Forces are exercising simultaneously in exercise Konkan Shakti-21 conducted by both countries

Oct 26, 2021
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India, UK armed forces in joint tri-service exercises

As India and the UK expand their defence and strategic ties as part of a larger "Roadmap" of bilateral cooperation, all three services from the Indian and UK Armed Forces are exercising simultaneously in exercise Konkan Shakti-21 conducted by both countries. "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.

The maiden India-UK Joint Tri-Service exercise Konkan Shakti is scheduled to be held between October 21-27 off the west coast of India and aims to derive "mutual benefits" from each other's experiences.

According to the Indian Navy on Thursday, the exercise is scheduled to be held in two phases.

"The harbour phase is planned at Mumbai from October 21 to 23, while at sea, the exercises will be conducted from October 24 to 27," said the release.

 Highlighting the naval linkages between the two countries, the release said that it has grown in terms of interoperability and synergy.
 
"Over decades now, both navies have undertaken bilateral exercises, exchanges and enhanced their technical cooperation. Rightly so, this has formed the basis for the maiden tri-service bilateral exercise, Konkan Shakti -21," said the release.

 The CSG, with HMS Queen Elizabeth—its flagship aircraft carrier —has been on deployment all summer in the Indo-Pacific waters, according to British media.  The CSG's deployment is an important one for the UK—its biggest after the end of the Cold War. It has already done exercises with Singapore and Bangladesh. 

Konkan Shakti is the first triservice exercise between the two nations. Another army exercise, Ajeya Warrior, is ongoing in Uttarakhand where around 120 British soldiers are participating. The two navies had engaged in naval war games during a two-day passage exercise (Passex) in the Bay of Bengal in July during the onward leg of the CSG's deployment.

Post Brexit, the UK has reached out for intense bilateral engagements with India and, during a virtual summit in May, Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi agreed on Roadmap 2030 to take forward the relationship. This roadmap looks at five sections—trade and investment, climate change, health, living bridges and defence and security. Of the 70 engagements with 40 nations that the CSG will have during its entire deployment, 10 per cent is with India, according to The Week.