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NEW DELHI: Indian Naval Ship Tabar this week participated in military exercises with a frontline frigate of the Italian Navy after it entered the Port of Naples as part of an ongoing deployment to the Mediterranean, an Indian navy statement said on Wednesday.

The Tabar entered the Port of Naples on 3 July and was accorded a warm welcome by the Italian Navy, the statement said.

During the stay in port commanding officer Captain Mahesh Mangipudi called on senior officers of the Prefect of Naples Authority, the regional Italian navy headquarters and the coast guard headquarters.

“On departure from port, the ship also undertook a Maritime Partnership Exercise with ITS Antonio Marceglia, a frontline frigate of the Italian Navy, on 4- 5 July in the Tyrrhenian Sea," the statement said.

“The exercise covered a wide range of naval operations including air defence procedures, replenishment at sea, communication drills and cross deck helo operations by day and night. The exercise was mutually beneficial in enhancing interoperability and towards consolidating combined operations against maritime threats," it said.

“The exercise culminated with a ‘Steam Past’ by the two ships, as per the naval custom," it added.

Coincidentally, Indian Army chief Manoj Mukund Naravane is on a four-day visit to the UK and Italy to deepen bilateral ties with the two European countries.

On the first leg of his visit, Naravane is scheduled to hold talks with the UK's secretary of state for defence, chief of defence staff, chief of general staff and other dignitaries, the Army said. He will also visit various army formations where he will exchange ideas on issues of mutual interest, an Indian army statement said.

On the second leg of his visit, Naravane will be in Italy on 7-8 July.

“The Army Chief will be holding important discussions with the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Staff of the Italian Army," it said adding that “additionally, the Chief of Army Staff will also inaugurate the Indian Army Memorial in the famous town of Cassino and will be briefed at the Italian Army's Counter IED Centre of Excellence at Cecchingola, Rome."

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