India Intelligence Report

   Indo-British Naval Exercises


India and the United Kingdom (UK) fielded their navies in a second exercise that involving an aircraft carrier, nuclear submarines, guided missile frigates, missile destroyers, supply tankers, and 1 embedded French ship off the Konkan coast. 

India fielded indigenously built front line ships such as guided-missile destroyer INS Mumbai and guided missile frigate INS Ganga and INS Brahmaputra. Additionally, fleet replenishment tanker INS Shakti and submarine INS Shankush will also participate.

The UK will field aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, guided missile destroyer HMS Gloucester, fleet reenlistment tanker HMS Fort Victoria, submarine support ship HMS Diligence, and nuclear-powered submarine SSN Sovereign. The embedded French frigate, FNS Surcouf will also support the Royal Navy.

This is the first time India will exercise with a British nuclear submarine although it has done so with American and French ones. The UK and France have an agreement where their ships will embed with each other’s navies so they can be battle ready in times of joint operation. A British embedded ship participated in Indo-French "Varuna" exercises.

The exercise will cover intermediate and advanced anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction operations, Visit-Board-Search-Seizure (VBSS) procedures, naval gunfire, and tactical maneuvers.

In addition to sea sparring, the two navies will also engage in dissimilar air combat exercises. India is expected to field its Sea Harriers and the UK Harrier GR 7A housed on the Illustrious.

Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee released a Joint Doctrine at a Conference of Unified Commanders that essentially captured means through which the Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy could operate as a single force in times of crisis. The document was prepared after 6 years of study by the three forces at the Simla Army Training Command using the Kargil War as a case study.