Navy completes four-month-long war game, TROPEX-23 - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Thursday 9 March 2023

Navy completes four-month-long war game, TROPEX-23

The exercise included a combat firing phase, in which warships fired torpedoes, depth charges, surface-to-air missiles, and surface-to-surface missiles


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 10th March 23


Every second year, the Indian Navy sails out to sea and conducts a major battle exercise to verify that it is ready in all respects for war. This year’s exercise, called the “Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise for 2023” (TROPEX-23), culminated this week in the Arabian Sea after running for four months from November 2022 to March 2023.


Set in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR),including the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, the exercise extended approximately 4,300 nautical miles north to south upto 35 degrees South and 5,000 nautical miles from the Persian Gulf to the northern coast of Australia, extending over 21 million square nautical miles.


TROPEX-23 witnessed the participation of approximately 70 Indian Navy ships, six submarines and over 75 aircraft.

These warships are from both the western and eastern naval fleets. One year, the western fleet sails to the Bay of Bengal to participate in TROPEX, while the eastern fleet sails to the Arabian Sea the following year. Part of the fleet is designated as the enemy “Red Force”, which takes on the “Blue Force” – an Indian Navy component.


While transiting from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal, or vice versa, the fleet carries out various maneouvres to ensure that it is “worked up”, or battle-ready for TROPEX, when it begins.


The overall exercise includes a combat firing phase, in which warships fire torpedoes, depth charges, surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-surface missiles in order to ensure that the warships’ ordnance is firing as it should.


TROPEX-23 also included a coastal defence component, Exercise Sea Vigil; as well as an amphibious component, Exercise AMPHEX. These two exercises witnessed significant participation from the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and the Coast Guard. 


The culmination of TROPEX-23 brings to an end an intense operational phase for the Indian Navy that commenced in November 2022.


In the final Joint Phase of the exercise, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spent a day at sea on Monday, on board India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC-1),INSVikrant


“He reviewed the Indian Navy’s operational preparedness and material readiness wherein the Navy demonstrated operational manoeuvers and various facets of combat operations, including deck operations of indigenous LCA and live weapon firings,” stated the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Thursday.


In an address to the Eastern and Western Naval Fleets, Rajnath lauded the navy’s operational preparedness. He said the country relies on the Navy to ensure that the economic lifelines and military capabilities of our adversaries are disrupted to the extent where their warfighting endeavours can no longer be sustained.  


“(Rajnath also said) the Indian Navy is wholly capable of safeguarding India’s national interests in the maritime domain and will thwart the diabolical designs of any potential adversaries who seek to threaten India’s peaceful existence,” stated the MoD. 


Referring to the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India)’ initiative, the defence minister complimented the Indian Navy for being at the forefront of the ‘Make in India’ initiative and for living up to its motto of “Combat Ready, Credible, Cohesive and Future Proof.” 

1 comment:

  1. # quote: "Ideally, a country should own as much of its shipping as possible so that it can ensure the adequate and regular receipt of vital supplies during times of crisis. Today, China, with a merchant fleet of 6,459 ships of 230,534 Thousands Dead Weight Tons, ranks third, while the Indian merchant fleet, with a strength of 1,179 vessels, 25,809 Thousands Dead Weight Tons ranks 17th. While India’s seaborne trade has seen exponential growth over the years, the share of cargo carried by Indian ships has declined drastically from about 40 per cent in the 1980s to 7.9 per cent in 2018-19 according to the Ministry of Shipping Annual Report 2019-20." end of quote
    quote: "In 2019, almost 90 per cent of EXIM .... was carried by foreign shippers.......... This represents ..... a strategic vulnerability. A ‘trade blockade,’ declared or undeclared, frightens away foreign-flag shipping and can bring a country’s economy and industry to its knees in a few days. It happened to Pakistan in the 1971 war, when the Indian Navy imposed a virtual blockade of Karachi port, and could well happen to India too" end of quote. Arun Prakash, Admiral (Retired)


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