India and Bangladesh begin the second edition of their “Bongosagar” naval exercise in the northern Bay of Bengal on 3 October 2020, which will be followed by a coordinated maritime patrol by their warships in the region. Indian deployed INS Kiltan, an anti-submarine warfare corvette, and INS Khukri, a guided-missile corvette, as well as maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters. Bangladesh, in turn, participated with BNS Abu Bakr, a guided-missile frigate, and BNS Prottoy, a guided-missile corvette.
- The aim of the exercise is to develop interoperability and joint operational skills through conduct of a wide spectrum of maritime exercises and operations.
- It included surface warfare drills, seamanship evolutions and helicopter operations, among other things.
- The warships from the two nations will then undertake joint patrolling along the international maritime boundary line.
- Conduct of such coordinated patrolling has strengthened the understanding between the two navies, with measures being instituted to stop conduct of unlawful activities in the region.
- India has steadily stepped-up military ties with Bangladesh, which incidentally acquired its first-ever diesel-electric submarines from China a couple of years ago.
- India, on its part, has been trying to counter Chinese inroads into its neighbourhood, ranging from Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius to Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh.