India and three European nations on Friday began a two-day high-voltage naval wargame in the Gulf of Aden with a larger aim of improving operational interoperability and promote, peace, security and stability in the key waterways, officials said.
Five warships from the four navies are participating in the ''EUNAVFOR'' joint naval exercise featuring advanced air defence and anti-submarine drills, cross deck helicopter operations, tactical manoeuvres and search and rescue missions, they said.
European Union Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR) is the EU's counter-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia.
The Indian Navy has deployed its warship INS Trikand for the exercise. The other warships are Italian Navy ship ITS Carabinere, Spanish ship ESPS Navarra, and two French Navy ships FS Tonnerre and FS Surcouf.
"The two-day exercise will see high tempo-naval operations at sea, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, cross deck helicopter operations, tactical manoeuvres, boarding operations, underway replenishment, search and rescue and other maritime security operations," Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.
He said the four navies will endeavour to enhance and hone their war-fighting skills and ability to operate as an integrated force to promote, peace, security and stability in the maritime domain.
"Concurrently, a virtual ''Information sharing Exercise'' is also being conducted between the Indian Navy Information Fusion Centre - Indian Ocean Region, and Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa," he said.
The EUNAVFOR and the Indian Navy have been working together on multiple areas including counter-piracy operations and protection of vessels deployed under the charter of the World Food Programme (UN WFP).
"This engagement showcases increased levels of synergy, coordination and interoperability between Indian Navy and EUNAVFOR. It also underscores the shared values as partner navies, in ensuring freedom of seas and commitment to an open, inclusive and a rules-based international order," Commander Madhwal said.