CNS Ad­mi­ral Su­nil Lanba re­views Tropex 2017


Chief of the Naval Staff Ad­mi­ral Su­nil Lanba em­barked ships of the In­dian Fleet (both Western and East­ern) to re­view the on­go­ing An­nual Theatre level Readi­ness and Op­er­a­tional Ex­er­cise (Tropex) 2017 which is presently un­der­way since Jan­uary 24, 2017. The CNS was ac­com­pa­nied by Gen­eral Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff, and Vice Ad­mi­ral Girish Luthra, Flag Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing-in-Chief, Western Naval Com­mand.

The CNS wit­nessed a host of ex­er­cises, viz. gun­nery shoots, sur­face-to-air mis­sile en­gage­ments, BrahMos fir­ing and op­er­a­tions of the com­bined fleet in a com­plex multi-threat en­vi­ron­ment in­clud­ing sub­sur­face and air threats. The high-point of the ex­er­cise was Large Force En­gage­ment (LFE) by the fleet units against threat sim­u­lated by air el­e­ment from the In­dian Air Force (IAF) com­pris­ing AWACS, Su-30s, Jaguars and Il-78 (AAR). These threats em­anated from dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions and were neu­tralised by us­ing Be­yond Vis­ual Range (BVR) mis­sile ca­pa­bil­i­ties of MiG-29Ks, the in­te­gral air arm of the In­dian Navy, op­er­at­ing from INS Vikra­mad- itya in co­or­di­na­tion with other fleet units. All these ex­er­cises val­i­dated the com­bat ef­fec­tive­ness of the In­dian Navy plat­forms.

The CNS dur­ing his ad­dress to the fleet con­grat­u­lated the men for keep­ing the fleet com­bat ready at all times and executing all as­signed tasks in a most pro­fes­sional man­ner. CNS also men­tioned that train­ing dur­ing peace­time has to be at par with how we would fight dur­ing war and em­pha­sised on tak­ing bold de­ci­sions with due cog­ni­sance to risks in­volved and en­sur­ing safety of men and ma­te­rial.

Tropex 2017 is a month-long ex­er­cise/war drill, en­com­pass­ing all di­men­sions of mar­itime war­fare and is wit­ness­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion of over 60 ships, 5 sub­marines and more than 70 naval air­craft. It also in­cludes par­tic­i­pa­tion of a large num­ber of as­sets from the IAF, such as Su-30 and Jaguar fight­ers, AWACS, C-130J Her­cules and in-flight re­fu­elling air­craft, in­fantry am­phibi­ous el­e­ments from the In­dian Army and ships/air­craft from the In­dian Coast Guard.

The area of op­er­a­tions for Tropex 2017 ex­er­cise spans across the vast ex­panse of the Ara­bian Sea and North Cen­tral In­dian Ocean and serves as an op­por­tu­nity to val­i­date the In­dian Navy’s con­cepts of op­er­a­tion.

As a part of the ex­er­cise, niche ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the Ma­rine Com­man­does (MAR­COs) and Army Spe­cial Forces, in­clud­ing air­borne as­sault and com­bat free fall were un­der­taken from IAF’s C-130 air­craft. Naval forces, while en­forc­ing sea and airspace con­trol all around the af­fected is­lands, un­der­took beach­ing and heli-borne op­er­a­tions for land­ing of fol­low-on forces. The ex­er­cise cul­mi­nated with restora­tion of sov­er­eign con­trol over the af­fected is­lands by the armed forces. Dur­ing de­brief of the ex­er­cise, CNS and COAS dis­cussed var­i­ous op­tions to fur­ther en­hance the ef­fec­tive­ness of the joint ex­er­cise.

Tropex 2017 as­sumes spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance in the back­drop of the cur­rent se­cu­rity sce­nario, be­ing aimed at test­ing com­bat readi­ness of the com­bined fleets of the In­dian Navy, and the as­sets of the In­dian Air Force, In­dian Army and the In­dian Coast Guard. It will also strengthen in­ter­op­er­abil­ity and joint op­er­a­tions in a com­plex en­vi­ron­ment.

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