Kochi, Apr 8: India and Germany will begin a three-day Naval exercise in the Arabian Sea from today. An Indo-German Defence Cooperation Agreement in this context was signed in 2006.
Over 700 personnel from the German Task Force comprising the Federal German Ship (FGS) Hamburg, which is an air-defence ship, frigate FGS Koeln, and FGS Berlin, which is a replenishment tanker, will participate in the exercise from the German side. The training ships "INS Tir" and "INS Krishna" and two frigates of the Indian Navy will take part from India.
German Task Force Commander Captain Michael Budde, on Monday, said: "The German and Indian warships from the naval base here will jointly leave the Kochi Harbour on Tuesday for the joint exercises. Seamanship, replenishment at sea and exchange of ship personnel and flying exercises will be held in the sea off Kochi. More advanced manoeuvres like surface and submarine warfare will be held further northwards off the Goa coast, where the Indian frigates from the Western Naval Command will join."
"We plan to have more joint exercises with the Indian Navy on a regular basis," Captain Budde added.
The guests visited training establishments such as the Anti-Submarine Warfare School and the Navigation and Direction School at the Southern Naval Command here.
German Ambassador Bernd Mutzelburg said: "Germany is looking forward to forge a strategic partnership with India in different sectors. 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."
Mutzelburg said bilateral trade doubled to 10 billion euros in the past three years. India sees Germany as a high-tech partner. Following the 2006 agreement, three working groups were formed, to enhance military-military, military-technical and military-political contacts.
"India and Germany have many things in common like both are federal, secular democracies. Both nations are striving for a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council," he added.
The German warships arrived in Kochi on Saturday after conducting joint exercise with South African forces.