Indian Navy’s largest exercise — Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (Tropex 21) — to test its combat readiness in the context of the current geo-strategic environment is underway in the Indian Ocean Region.
The month-long drill will witness joint exercises by ships and aircraft and other assets of the Indian Air Force, Army and the Indian Coast Guard in the IOR, including its adjunct waters.
“The drill started in early January and will culminate by the third week of February,” the Navy said.
The theatre-level exercise also aims to validate the Navy’s offensive-defence capabilities in a complex multi-dimensional scenario, safeguard national interests in the maritime domain and promote stability and peace in the IOR.
The exercise comes at a time when India is facing both Pakistan and China. Tropex-21 assumes great significance amid a threatening security scenario and as India’s role increases in the IOR and the Indo-Pacific.
“The conduct of Tropex-21 is being overseen by the Naval Headquarters with participation from all three Commands of the Navy and the Tri-Services Command at Port Blair,” the force said.
Tropex-21 will witness distinct phases that will also test the Navy’s transition from peace time to hostilities.
In the first phase, the Navy had conducted coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil’ along the entire coastline and island territories of India on January 12 and 13, 2021.
This exercise aimed to validate the coastal defence set-up of the country, which was entirely revamped after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.
The exercise witnessed large-scale participation from the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Police of 13 coastal states and Union Territories along with other stakeholders in the maritime domain.
Valuable lessons emerging from the exercise are being incorporated in the existing procedures to further fine-tune the coastal defence architecture of the country.
‘Sea Vigil’ was followed by a large-scale tri-service amphibious exercise ‘Amphex-21’, which was conducted in the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands from January 21-25.
The exercise was aimed at validating India’s capabilities to safeguard the territorial integrity of its island territories and enhance operational synergy and joint war capabilities among the three services.
The ‘Weapon Workup Phase’ of Tropex-21, which concluded recently, witnessed multiple ‘on-target’ ordnance deliveries, including missiles, torpedoes and rockets from frontline warships, aircraft and submarines and demonstrated the lethal firepower of the Navy and reaffirmed its capability to carry out long-range maritime strikes in the Indian Ocean Region.
This large-scale exercise puts to test and validate Navy’s concept of operations in various conflict scenarios, hone its fighting skills, bolster its role towards maritime security in the wider Indian Ocean Region and is in keeping with the theme of being a ‘combat-ready, credible and cohesive force’.