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27 Mar 2024

UK Royal Navy vessels arrive in Chennai on landmark visit  

UK Royal Navy vessels arrive in Chennai on landmark visit  
Image Source: Social Media Account of Brigadier Nick Sawyer, Defence Advisor, British High Commission
UK Ministry of Defence Press Release

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus and RFA Lyme Bay conducted maritime exercises with the Indian Navy as they entered the Arabian Sea and will now undergo essential maintenance at the Larsen & Toubro shipyard in Kattupalli near Chennai.

This is the first time a Royal Navy vessel will undergo maintenance at an Indian shipyard – a direct result of the logistics-sharing agreement signed between the UK and India in 2022.

Brigadier Nick Sawyer, Defence Advisor, British High Commission, said:

"The visit of the Littoral Response Group attests to the UK’s capability and commitment to the Indo Pacific. The sight of Royal Navy ships undergoing essential maintenance at an Indian shipyard is yet another example of the India-UK Logistic Exchange Memorandum of Agreement in practice.

"It also signals the continued growing importance of the strategic defence partnership between the UK and India as we build towards achieving the ambition set out in the India-UK 2030 Roadmap."

Following the completion of its maintenance in India, the LRG will operate in the Indo Pacific to conduct training, exercises, and wider engagement with allies and partners.

 

Further information

  • The UK and India committed to continue strengthening ties during the visit of Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to the UK in January this year. In January 2024 the UK launched Defence Partnership-India – a bespoke office designed to further defence collaboration between the two countries.

  • This includes sending the UK’s Littoral Response Group (South) to India for joint exercises and use of the Indian dockyard at Chennai for essential maintenance.

  • The UK has also announced plans for the Carrier Strike Group 2025 to visit the Indo-Pacific, which includes the intent to operate and train with the Indian Armed Forces.

  • The logistics-sharing agreement between the UK and India allows for the provision of logistic support, supplies and services between the UK and Indian Armed Forces, for joint training, joint exercises, authorised port visits and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.

  • In the coming years, the UK and India will also embark on more complex exercises between their respective militaries, building up to a landmark joint exercise to be conducted before the end of 2030, supporting shared goals of protecting critical trade routes and upholding the international rules-based system.

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