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India, Bangladesh to hold naval exercise in Bay of Bengal from Saturday

DEFENCE-ENG-03-10-2020-BD (1)

India and Bangladesh will kick off the second edition of their “Bongosagar” naval exercise in the northern Bay of Bengal on Saturday (3 October), which will be followed by a coordinated maritime patrol by their warships in the region.

Indian will deploy INS Kiltan, an anti-submarine warfare corvette, and INS Khukri, a guided-missile corvette, as well as maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters. Bangladesh, in turn, will participate with BNS Abu Bakr, a guided-missile frigate, and BNS Prottoy, a guided-missile corvette.

“The aim of the exercise is to develop interoperability and joint operational skills through conduct of a wide spectrum of maritime exercises and operations. It will include surface warfare drills, seamanship evolutions and helicopter operations, among other things,” said Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal.

The warships from the two nations will then undertake joint patrolling along the international maritime boundary line. “Conduct of such coordinated patrolling has strengthened the understanding between the two navies, with measures being instituted to stop conduct of unlawful activities in the region,” he said.

India has steadily stepped-up military ties with Bangladesh, which incidentally acquired its first-ever diesel-electric submarines from China couple of years ago. India, on its part, has been trying to counter Chinese inroads into its neighbourhood, ranging from Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius to Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh.