With a two-front war in mind, the Indian Navy undertook a gruelling military exercise along with the Army, Air Force and the Coast Guard, replicating realistic conflict situations in a war game.
The exercise spanned from the northern Arabian sea off the Gujarat coast to the southern Indian Ocean off Sunda Straits near Indonesia. The two-month-long exercise has been concluded and the Navy will now undertake “extensive debriefings” to identify key takeaways of the exercise and formulate measures to further strengthen contingency plans, the Defence Ministry said on Monday.
The exercise saw participation of all the operational ships, submarines and aircraft of the Indian Navy along with men and equipment of the Indian Army, all types of aircraft of the Indian Air Force and ships and aircraft of the Coast Guard.
The war game on the eastern seaboard was codenamed Encore (Eastern Naval Command Operational Readiness Exercise) while on the western seaboard it was codenamed as Exercise Paschim Lehar.
The idea behind conducting the exercises simultaneously on both seaboards was the Navy’s threat perceptions of a two-front war.
“The focus has been on realistic scenarios likely to manifest in the future including terrorist attacks from sea on critical infrastructure and populated areas, defence of the country’s offshore oil resources and security of its huge trade through sea routes,” an official said.
“With the realisation that future conflicts and contingencies are likely to require a joint tri-service response, the Navy sought participation of the other services with critical capabilities and specialised equipment to ensure an integrated response to situations,” the official added.
The war game saw the operation commanders of the Navy and other services being put through crisis situations from benign humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to full-fledged conflict situations.
The Navy has been working on the mission-based deployment concept since July last year. It has revamped operational exercise plans to make them more contemporary and realistic.”Greater focus has been accorded to conflict readiness across the spectrum as well as realistic scenarios likely to be faced at sea,” the official said.
Also, mission-ready ships are now forward deployed in critical areas of the Indian Ocean region with “inherent capability to respond to emerging threats and benign situations”.
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