The navies of India and Bangladesh held a mega military exercise in the Bay of Bengal on Saturday in sync with their growing operational coordination, officials said. A variety of maritime drills and operations were conducted as part of the annual 'Bongosagar' exercise, they said. The first edition of the exercise was held in October last year. On Sunday, the two navies will begin a two-day coordinated patrol in Northern Bay of Bengal.
In the 'Bongosagar' exercise, the Indian Navy deployed anti-submarine warfare corvette Kiltan and guided-missile corvette Khukri. The Bangladeshi navy was represented by guided-missile frigate Abu Bakr and guided-missile corvette Prottoy, the officials said. "India and Bangladesh have a close, long-standing relationship, covering a wide spectrum of activities and interactions, which has strengthened over the years," an Indian Navy spokesperson said on Friday.
The Indian Navy has participated in a number of joint maritime exercises in the last few weeks including a three-day drill with Japanese navy from September 26-28. Last month, Indian Navy also carried out a two-day mega exercise in the Indian Ocean Region with the Australian Navy that featured a range of complex naval manoeuvres, anti-aircraft drills and helicopter operations.
In July, the Indian Navy carried out a military exercise with a US Navy carrier strike group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz off the coast of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The USS Nimitz is the world's largest warship. India has significantly expanded its deployment in the Indian Ocean Region with a plethora of warships and submarines following its border row with China in eastern Ladakh, ostensibly to send across a message to Beijing.