India-UK joint naval exercise from today

The exercise will help the Indian Navy to hone its skills in operating nuclear submarines.

New Delhi: India and the United Kingdom will embark on their annual joint naval exercise `Konkan` off the coast of Goa starting on Saturday keeping the focus on submarine operations including nuclear underwater vessels.

India will field its Shishumar Class INS Shankush HDW submarine and the British will have one of their Trafalgar Class nuclear submarines on show during the week-long exercise, Navy officials said on Friday.

Though India has held a number of joint exercises with other countries where nuclear submarines were involved this would be the first time when the focus would be on operation of submarines, they said.

The exercise will help the Navy to hone its skills in operating nuclear submarines as it is expected to get the Nerpa K 152 nuclear submarine on lease from Russia and is also planning to induct the indigenous INS Arihant submarine in the near future.

During the exercise, the Indian crew will also get to visit on board the British nuclear submarine.

The British vessel will be supported by `RFA Diligence`, a dedicated nuclear submarine support vessel.

INS Betwa-- a Beas Class missile frigate and the IL-38 SD maritime surveillance aircraft would also take part in the exercise from the Indian side.

The British had deployed one of their Trafalgar Class submarines during the Libyan crisis recently.


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