India and the European Union (EU) vessels successfully executed joint maritime activities in the Gulf of Guinea, marking a significant stride in bolstering naval security cooperation within the region.
On the 24th of October, 2023, the European Union and India launched their inaugural joint naval exercise in the Gulf of Guinea. This exercise was a direct follow-up to the third EU-India Maritime Security Dialogue held on the 5th of October, 2023, in Brussels.
The Indian Navy’s INS Sumedha, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, was joined by vessels from three EU member states in the Gulf of Guinea: the Italian Navy Ship ITS Foscari, French Navy Ship FS Ventôse, and Spanish Navy Ship Tornado. These four vessels engaged in a series of tactical maneuvers in international waters off the coast of Ghana. The exercises included a boarding operation, a flying drill utilizing helicopters from the French Ship Ventôse and Indian Naval Ship Sumedha, and the seamless transfer of personnel between vessels.
Following the exercise, a knowledge-sharing session was held in Accra, Ghana. This session further capitalized on the joint experiences at sea, enhancing operational expertise. Moreover, it fostered stronger connections between Ghanaian officials and representatives from Indian, EU, and EU member state missions in Ghana.
These collaborative endeavors underscore the mutual dedication of India and the EU to fortifying coastal states and the Yaoundé Architecture in ensuring maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. They serve as a testament to the depth and dynamism of EU-India cooperation in maritime security, reaffirming the shared resolve to uphold the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).