August 15, 2019 – HMS Defender joined forces with the Indian Navy as she knuckled down to her Asia-Pacific deployment… in the English Channel.
The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer met up with INS Tarkash in unseasonably bleak August weather off the South Coast for the two navies’ annual workout: Exercise Konkan.
Konkan is a long-running exercise designed to test the ability of the two Commonwealth navies to operate side-by-side if it comes to the crunch.
It typically takes place off the namesake stretch of coastline in India – running for 450 miles along the Western Seaboard and encompassing Mumbai and Goa – as the Royal Navy maintains a regular presence in the Indian Ocean.
But when Delhi dispatches its ships on deployments to western Europe, Britain hosts the exercises on its home turf.
And so on the eve of the 72nd anniversary of Indian independence, Defender – which only left Portsmouth on Monday at the beginning of a mission to the Pacific Rim – linked up with ‘stealth frigate’ INS Tarkash in conditions more British, than Indian summer.