After sailing ‘united through the oceans,’ with more than 50 navies during the spectacular ‘International Fleet Review – 16’, the Indian navy is now all geared up to host the Brazilian and South African Navy for the fifth edition of ‘Exercise IBSAMAR’. Naval vessels from the Brazilian and South African Navy have anchored at Goa. The exercise is divided as ‘at sea’ and ‘harbour phase’ and shall commence on February 20th. The navies will mutually work towards increasing the interoperability level shared between the three navies.
The Indian Navy has fielded its surface combatants – INS Mumbai – a Delhi class guided missile destroyer and INS Trishul – a Talwar class stealth frigate. Indian Navy’s Shishumar class submarine – INS Shalki will be the target when ASW operations are mounted. The navy has also decided to deploy Dornier maritime patrol aircraft during joint surveillance operations. Helicopters stations on-board INS Mumbai and INS Trishul will take part during SAR and ASW operations. The navy may also dispatch its frontline fighter jet – MiG 29K carrier borne aircraft for aerial missions.
South African Navy will be represented by SAS Spioenkop, a Valour class frigate. The vessel has represented the South African Navy in various exercises. The Brazilian Navy has fielded its Amazonas patrol vessel for the exercise. Both the vessels are sailing back to their homeports after participating in the International Fleet Review.
‘Exercise IBSAMAR’ will mainly focus on ‘surface combatant operations, visit board search and seizure, joint air surveillance and regular flying operations, search and rescue missions and Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW)’. This will enable the navies in understanding the procedures involved in mounting complex operations on the vast open oceans.
India, Brazil and South Africa are growing powers in the resource rich Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The navies of all the three nations have been sailing square to square for decades. The first edition of ‘Exercise IBSAMAR’ was held in 2006 off the South African Coast. All subsequent editions were held in South African waters and this is the first time that the exercise will be held in Indian waters.
Sharing a common naval vision, the nations have been mutually working towards increasing the maritime security in the pirate ridden IOR. India and South Africa were amongst the first countries to deploy naval vessels to counter piracy threats. Brazil had also deployed its flotilla to counter piracy off its coast. Various countries, ever since have been working towards increasing the mutual co-operation in mounting naval operations. Joint naval exercises are undoubtedly one of the best efforts towards increasing the interoperability between the navies.