Following the defence cooperation agreement between India and Germany, the two countries came together on Tuesday for the joint naval exercise commenced for the first time ever off the India’s western coast in a bid to develop bilateral defence ties.
In this three-day Indo-German naval exercise about 700 personnel from the German Task Force including the Federal German Ship (FGS) F220 Hamburg which is an air-defence ship, frigate FGS F211 Koeln, and a naval support vessel FGS “A1411 Berlin,” which is a replenishment tanker and two Indian naval vessels INS Tir and INS Krishna including 300 personnel are participating in it.
The joint exercise reflects appreciation on both sides of the significance of the India-Germany relationship in building stability and security in Asia and beyond. This new course entails rapid growth in cooperation on defence and security matters.
India and Germany had signed bilateral defence cooperation in 2006 by which the German vessels arrived in Kochi on Saturday. As per the source the joint exercise, lasting for about 10 hours, will include seamanship exercise, communication, exchange of personnel and flying exercises.
The German navy will carry out joint exercises with first the Southern Naval command and later with Western Naval Command when it will move to the Goa coast for more advanced and technical exercises, comprising the Anti-Submarine exercise. Both countries will showcase its latest armoury and will aware of each other’s techniques.
Some top brass from the German side like the Amassador Bernd Motzelburg and Rear Admiral Karl W Bollow, Flotilla Commander was also present at Kochi during the ship's visit.
To witness the historic first ever exercise the Commander of the 2nd Flotilla Rear Admiral Karl-Wilhelm Bollow was also present at the site to review the exercises.
German Ambassador Bernd Mutzelburg stated his country was looking forward to establishing a strategic joint venture with India in different sectors including defence purchases. “We are willing to transfer high-tech weaponry to the Indian armed forces to help their modernisation drive. India will get top-end technology and it will be a win-win situation for both countries in this partnership of equals. Germany needs to retain her competitive edge by making good use of the economy products manufactured in India,” he said.
Expressing his happiness over such naval exercise, the German Task Force Commander Captain Michael Budde said, “We plan to have more joint exercises with the Indian Navy on a regular basis.” A German officer said his navy would also hold joint operations with the French and South African counterparts.
The German Ambassador said that India and Germany had many common characteristics like both were federal, secular, and democratic country. Besides this both nations were determined hard for finding a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council, he added.
For the India’s point of view, it will get top-end technology however will be beneficial for both countries in this joint venture of equals.