Thursday, February 9, 2023

India Is First Port Of Call For UK Ship In Indian Ocean

By Staff Correspondent

The Royal Navy’s offshore patrol vessel, HMS Tamar, sails to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands today [6 January] as part of its permanent deployment in the Indo-Pacific. Over the next five days, the ship and her crew will undertake capability demonstrations and maritime exercises with the Indian Navy.

HMS Tamar is one of two Royal Navy vessels on permanent deployment in the Indo-Pacific as set out in the UK’s Integrated Review. The ship’s visit to India is an opportunity to further strengthen the shared maritime domain awareness effort, and underlines the UK’s and India’s intent to collaborate in the Indian Ocean Region and wider Indo-Pacific.

First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Ben Key, said: “I am delighted that HMS Tamar is visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands this week, during her first time sailing in the Indian Ocean. The opportunity to engage with the local community and conduct training and exercises with the Indian Navy is hugely valuable.

“The work HMS Tamar and her crew are doing with allies, partners and friends across the Indo-Pacific is crucial. As threats to global peace and stability mount, the Royal Navy values deeply its relationship with the Indian Navy in a shared endeavour to confront those who challenge the rules-based system and ensure peace and prosperity on and from the sea.”

Acting British High Commissioner to India, Christina Scott, said: “HMS Tamar’s deployment is the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt in action; its visit, further evidence of the importance we attach to our defence and security relationship with India.

“The Indo-Pacific, and indeed India, will drive future growth and prosperity for the world. It is imperative that it remains free and open to all in support of trade, shared security and values.”

NOTES:

· The HMS Tamar, a river class offshore patrol vessel of the Royal Navy, and sister ship HMS Spey are on a long term deployment in the Indo-Pacific since September 2021.

· The Integrated Review published in March 2021 – setting out the UK’s foreign, defence, development and security policy – committed the UK to becoming the European country with the broadest, most integrated presence in the Indo-Pacific in support of trade, shared security and values. 

· The UK is world renowned for its maritime awareness capability, leading on anti-piracy in the western Indian Ocean region. The UK has a 7×7 presence in the Western Indian Ocean Region, alongside its presence in India.

· The UK’s White Shipping Agreement with India enables information sharing across the whole of the Indian Ocean Region. In June 2021, the UK posted its first permanent liaison officer at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) in Gurugram to enhance maritime domain awareness in the region.

· The visit of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group in October 2021 – led HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the two largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy – underscored a new phase of defence ambition and interaction between the UK and India. A full 10% of the CSG’s activity on this deployment was committed to India, including our most demanding bilateral exercise to date with Exercise Konkan Shakti conducted by all 3 services from both countries.

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