For Friendship’s Sake

A peek into the various naval exercises India was part of this year

Yunus Dar

The year 2018 was quite eventful for the Indian Navy as it witnessed a series of high voltage exercises, some of which were unprecedented in their scale and operations with the aim of increasing interoperability and understanding between Indian and friendly foreign navies.

Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba with defence minister of Singapore, Ng Eng Hen at exercise SIMBEX 2018
Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba with defence minister of Singapore, Ng Eng Hen at exercise SIMBEX 2018


MILAN 2018

The Indian Navy hosted 16 countries for the multi-national MILAN 2018 exercise at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands from 6-13 March 2018. The eight-day mega naval exercise, with the theme of ‘Friendship Across the Seas’, was held under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command.

MILAN is a congregation of littoral navies conducted biennially by Indian Navy under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command. This year, the exercise witnessed a diverse mix of professional exercises and seminars, social events and sporting fixtures. The interactions at event encompassed sharing of views and ideas on maritime good-order and enhancing regional cooperation for combating unlawful activities at sea. Australia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya and Cambodia participated in the exercise.

Exercise Varuna

Indian and French navies conducted the first leg of the seven-day exercise Varuna in the Arabian Sea off Goa coast. It was aimed to explore measures to facilitate operational-level interactions between the armed forces of the two nations and increase mutual cooperation, given common global threats.

This year’s Varuna naval exercise between Indian and French Navy was conducted in three phases and included anti-submarine, air defence and asymmetric engagement exercises. The exercise continued even as the Indian Ocean witnessed heavy Chinese naval presence.

The Indian Navy’s destroyer, INS Mumbai, and frigate INS Trikand participated in the exercise. The Indian Navy also deployed submarine Kalvari, P8-1 and Dornier maritime patrol aircraft and MiG 29K fighter aircraft in the exercise.

The second leg of the exercise was held off the Chennai coast in the Bay of Bengal in April, and the third took place near France’s La Reunion Island in South Western Indian Ocean in May 2018.

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