The crew of HMS Dragon has arrived in Goa to participate in the joint Indian and United Kingdom Maritime Exercise Konkan 18.
This exercise builds on the successes of previous collaborative work between the UK and India. Recently, the British Army participated in the bilateral Exercise Ajeya Warrior and the Royal Air Force and Indian Air Force enjoyed training together in Exercise Indradanush.
In Exercise Konkan, both parties will share expertise and identify future collaborative opportunities. Areas of focus for the exercise will be Anti-Submarine Warfare and Area Air Defence. This will pave the way for further collaborative work between the two navies, with the aim of making the Indian Ocean a safer place for maritime trade.
Whilst in Goa, HMS Dragon will also contribute to broader UK-India defence engagement work. Indian government, Navy and industry representatives will join UK government and industry representatives on board to see how the systems on the ship enable delivery of the Royal Navy’s objectives, in support of ongoing discussions on military capability and technology.
Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, British High Commissioner to India said: “Exercise Konkan is a great opportunity to reinforce the India-UK defence partnership, deepening our understanding of how our Navies can work together to counter maritime threats. This sits alongside a wide range of UK activity in Indian ocean – covering military, multilateral and commercial engagement.”
In April this year, our Prime Ministers jointly stated that we shall “design, create and manufacture technologies …and our security and military forces will share technologies, capabilities and equipment”.
This exercise, and the events taking place on HMS Dragon whilst it is in port, offer both countries a chance to further support delivery of that ambition.
On its way to the exercise, HMS Dragon intercepted a shipment of 3,048kg of hashish in the Gulf along the ‘Hashish Highway’. This route is used to transport drugs from Afghanistan to the Middle East and East Africa and onward destinations.
HMS Dragon is currently on a seven-month deployment away from the UK. She is operating in the Indian Ocean and Gulf conducting maritime security operations.
Recently she has been working for the regional maritime security organisation, Combined Maritime Forces, in the Northern Indian Ocean. Here, she intercepted the large quality of illegal drugs, the profits from which are believed to be used to fund terrorism and other criminal activities.