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Indian Navy conducts maiden exercise with Carrier Strike Group 21

The Indian Navy (IN) participated in a bilateral passage exercise with Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) – led by Royal Navy (RN) aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth – in the Bay of Bengal from 21–22 July.

The exercise, which was aimed at enhancing the interoperability between the IN and the RN, “afforded excellent opportunity to engage over the entire spectrum of maritime operations, including ASW [anti-submarine warfare], anti-air, and anti-surface warfare”, the Indian government's Press Information Bureau (PIB) said in a 22 July statement.

The IN was represented in the exercise by the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate INS Satpura, the Project 61ME Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvir, the Project 28 Kamorta-class corvette INS Kavaratti, the Project 25A Kora-class corvette INS Kulish, the replenishment oiler INS Jyoti, and an undisclosed submarine. The service also contributed ASW-capable P-8I maritime multimission aircraft.

The PIB noted that alongside Queen Elizabeth, CSG21 was represented by Type 23 ASW-capable frigates HMS Kent and HMS Richmond, an Astute-class submarine and “other surface combatants”.

The exercise also saw the participation of F-35B fighter aircraft operating from Queen Elizabeth.

The PIB noted that regular interactions over the years between the IN and the RN have enhanced “interoperability and adaptability in the ever-changing security scenarios”.

“The interoperability achieved over the years has ensured a quantum jump in the complexity and scale of professional exchanges, which is being further enhanced by the presence of the Royal Navy's Carrier Strike Group in the Indian Ocean,” it added.

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