The Indian and Bangladeshi navies will hold a mega military exercise in the Bay of Bengal on Saturday which will be followed by a two-day joint maritime patrolling in the region to further expand operational coordination between the two forces, officials said. A wide spectrum of maritime drills and operations will be conducted as part of the annual ”Bongosagar” exercise whose first edition was held in October last year, they said.
“It is aimed at developing inter-operability and joint operational skills through conduct of a wide spectrum of maritime exercises and operations. Ships from both navies will participate in surface warfare drills, seamanship evolutions and helicopter operations,” an Indian Navy spokesperson said.
He said the exercise will be followed by the third edition of Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) in Northern Bay of Bengal on October 4 and 5 under which both navies will undertake joint patrolling in the region.
“Conduct of CORPAT has strengthened understanding between both the navies and instituted measures to stop conduct of unlawful activities,” he said.
The Indian Navy will deploy anti-submarine warfare corvette Kiltan and guided-missile corvette Khukri in the ”Bongosagar” exercise. The Bangladeshi navy will be represented by guided-missile frigate Abu Bakr and guided-missile corvette Prottoy, the officials said.
In addition to ships, maritime patrol aircraft as well as a number of helicopters from both navies would also be participating in the exercise, they said.
“India and Bangladesh have a close, long-standing relationship covering a wide spectrum of activities and interactions, which has strengthened over the years,” the Indian Navy spokesperson said.
The Indian Navy has participated in a number of joint maritime exercises in the last few weeks including a three-day drill with Japanese navy from September 26-28.
Last month, Indian Navy also carried out a two-day mega exercise in the Indian Ocean Region with the Australian Navy that featured a range of complex naval manoeuvres, anti-aircraft drills and helicopter operations.
In July, the Indian Navy carried out a military exercise with a US Navy carrier strike group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off the coast of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The USS Nimitz is the world” largest warship.
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India has significantly expanded its deployment in the Indian Ocean Region with a plethora of warships and submarines following its border row with China in eastern Ladakh, ostensibly to send across a message to Beijing.