Indian warships are being dispatched for a two-month-long overseas deployment along the African coast this week, which will culminate in complex trilateral war games among Indian, Brazilian and South African navies.
Destroyer INS Mysore, frigates INS Tabar and INS Ganga, and tanker INS Aditya will also patrol the Exclusive Economic Zones of Mauritius and Seychelles, as also conduct PASSEX exercises and make port calls on Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and other countries.
The trilateral naval war games, IBSAMAR, will be part of the strategic initiative launched under the IBSA framework to bring together the maritime forces of three dynamic democracies and economies from three continents under one umbrella.
The first IBSAMAR exercise was held in May 2008. While overseas deployments have been a regular feature for Indian Navy to project power as well as “build bridges of friendship”, the IBSAMAR war games are considered a challenging endeavor since the distance from India to South Africa, as also from Brazil to South Africa, is some 4,000 nautical miles.
The IBSA forum was established in June 2003 to promote south-south dialogue, cooperation and the adoption of common positions on issues of international importance.
During the IBSAMAR exercise in September, the three navies will conduct anti-air and anti-submarine warfare, as also visit-board-search-seizure operations and anti-piracy drills. India will be the “lead planner” for this edition of IBSAMAR, while Brazil will take upon the role in the third edition to be held in 2012.