Ex­cer­cise Paschim Le­har and Mal­di­vian Im­broglio

Re­cently con­cluded ex­er­cise paschim Le­har ex­ten­sively tested and reval­i­dated the op­er­a­tional plans and ma­noeu­vres in a hos­tile mar­itime sce­nario on In­dia’s Western se­aboard

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - REAR AD­MI­RAL SUSHIL RAM­SAY (RETD)

Re­cently con­cluded Ex­er­cise Paschim Le­har ex­ten­sively tested and reval­i­dated the op­er­a­tional plans and ma­noeu­vres in a hos­tile mar­itime sce­nario on In­dia’s Western se­aboard.

Rear Ad­mi­ral Sushil Ram­say (Retd)

Dur­ING the AN­NuAL CAM­pAIGN sea­son each year theatre Level op­er­a­tional ex­er­cises, com­monly known as tropeX are con­ducted on the western se­aboard. one such ex­er­cise to op­er­a­tionalise and val­i­date the theatre level op­er­a­tional doc­trine was held dur­ing Novem­ber 2017 with the pri­mary ob­jec­tive of aug­ment­ing syn­er­gies and en­hanc­ing in­ter­op­er­abil­ity among the front­line com­bat­ants of the In­dian Army, In­dian Navy and the In­dian Air force. tropeX has over the years grown in sig­nif­i­cance and upped the scales of op­er­a­tional doc­trines among the three ser­vices and the Coast Guard to launch a uni­fied cam­paign at the theatre level.

Begin­ning from 2018 the In­dian Navy has re­viewed its op­er­a­tional readi­ness phi­los­o­phy to pro­vide cutting edge to its com­bat ca­pa­bil­ity. Ac­cord­ingly as a se­quel to tropeX, ad­di­tional two vari­ants have been added. the ex­er­cises con­ducted on the eastern se­aboard have been des­ig­nated as eastern Naval Com­mand theatre Level op­er­a­tional readi­ness ex­er­cises, called EN­CORE. The first edi­tion of EN­CORE was con­ducted un­der the aegis of eastern Naval Com­mand. eN­Core 2018 which cul­mi­nated in early fe­bru­ary 2018 com­prised more than 40 ships and sub­marines from the eastern fleet, Western fleet and the units from An­daman & Ni­co­bar Com­mand.

the coun­ter­part of eN­Core on the western se­aboard has been des­ig­nated as ex­er­cise Paschim Le­har (XPL). The first edi­tion of the three-week long paschim Le­har, theatre level op­er­a­tional readi­ness ex­er­cises were con­ducted from fe­bru­ary 12, 2018 as tri-ser­vice Mar­itime ex­er­cise. XpL in­cluded par­tic­i­pa­tion of a large num­ber of ships, sub­marines and air­craft from the Western Naval Com­mand, eastern Naval Com­mand, In­dian Army, In­dian Air force and the In­dian Coast Guard to aug­ment in­ter­op­er­abil­ity. over 40 ships and sub­marines, sim­i­lar num­ber of mar­itime sur­veil­lance, fighter air­craft, he­li­copters and UAVs of the In­dian Navy and the IAf were de­ployed. the am­phibi­ous ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the armed forces, along with the el­e­ments of Army Am­phibi­ous Bri­gade was also de­ployed and tested for op­er­a­tional phi­los­o­phy.

the ex­er­cise in­cluded a num­ber of weapon fir­ings, in­clud­ing mis­sile, gun and tor­pedo fir­ings dur­ing the ini­tial phase. The sec­ond phase was struc­tured to val­i­date and re­fine the op­er­a­tional plans of the Western Naval Com­mand and was con­ducted un­der the over­all con­trol of the Flag Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing-in-Chief, Western Naval Com­mand and tested the op­er­a­tional readi­ness of the Com­mand and the ex­e­cu­tion of op­er­a­tional plans. over 40 naval as­sets in­clud­ing the air­craft car­rier, INs Vikra­ma­ditya, front­line ships of the Western fleet and eastern fleet, in­clud­ing the newly com­mis­sioned Kolkata class, sub­marines, po­tent mis­sile ves­sels of the 22nd Killer squadron, off­shore pa­trol Ves­sels and craft of the lo­cal flotilla and the Coast Guard par­tic­i­pated in the ex­er­cise.

XPL wit­nessed in­tense fly­ing ac­tiv­i­ties by car­rier-borne Mig29K, p-8I, IL-38sDs, Dorniers and uAVs and saw en­hanced par­tic­i­pa­tion by the deep pen­e­tra­tion fight­ers of the In­dian Air Force, in co­or­di­nated fly­ing mis­sions with In­dian Navy’s front­line avi­a­tion as­sets. Mar­itime role Jaguars, su30MKI, AWACS and flight re­fu­ellers par­tic­i­pated in large num­bers from dif­fer­ent air­fields in Gu­jarat, Ma­ha­rash­tra and North In­dia. An am­phibi­ous land­ing was also con­ducted, which in­cluded the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the 91 In­fantry Bri­gade of the In­dian Army. re­cently con­cluded ex­er­cise paschim Le­har ex­ten­sively tested and reval­i­dated the op­er­a­tional plans and ma­noeu­vres in a hos­tile mar­itime sce­nario on In­dia’s Western se­aboard. the de­fence of off­shore as­sets namely; oil rigs, es­cort oper­a­tions of mer­chant ships and coastal de­fence were car­ried out.

Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (Navy) in the Back­yard

the pres­ence of peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (Navy), pLAN task force in the eastern In­dian ocean around the time of paschim Le­har was cer­tainly not by any co­in­ci­dence. It was in­deed a well thought out and or­ches­trated plan to lend tacit sup­port to In­dia’s clos­est neigh­bour and a long stand­ing ally, Mal­dives em­broiled in a worst ever po­lit­i­cal cri­sis. An of­fi­cial Chi­nese web­site has linked the de­ploy­ment of the war­ships, in­clud­ing an am­phibi­ous ves­sel that can trans­fer troops from sea to land, to the evolv­ing sit­u­a­tion in the Mal­dives.

“At present, the In­dian ocean re­gion is not peaceful and the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the Mal­dives con­tin­ues to be tur­bu­lent,” said the post. the ar­ti­cle pointed out that the Chi­nese Navy’s ‘Blue 2018A’ fleet has been train­ing in the east In­dian ocean for a “week or so”. the peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army (Navy) task force com­prised two 052D De­stroy­ers, a 054A frigate, a 071 Dock Land­ing ship and a sup­ply ship.

China had ear­lier warned against ex­ter­nal in­ter­ven­tion in the Mal­dives af­ter the coun­try’s ex­iled for­mer pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Nasheed called for New Delhi’s in­ter­ven­tion to re­lease po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers. Chi­nese for­eign Min­istry had warned that other coun­tries should not in­ter­fere in the in­ter­nal af­fairs of the Mal­dives.

An Aus­tralian web­site, news.com.au, un­der­scored that the en­try of Chi­nese war­ships in the In­dian Ocean marks a sig­nif­i­cant shift in re­gional power. “they’re there to keep In­dia away from Beijing’s in­ter­ests in the strife-torn Mal­dives Is­lands.”

“send­ing war­ships to op­er­ate off the Mal­dives is a new and con­cern­ing de­vel­op­ment, be­cause it shows that China is try­ing to ex­er­cise in­flu­ence over a small state more usu­ally within In­dia’s strate­gic view. New Delhi will read this as a wor­ry­ing move. It will in­ten­sify strate­gic com­pe­ti­tion and in­crease mis­trust be­tween China and In­dia,” it quoted peter Jen­nings of the Aus­tralian pol­icy In­sti­tute.

Ground Re­al­ity

the In­dian Navy has ro­bust mar­itime do­main aware­ness and is main­tain­ing con­stant vigil in the In­dian ocean amid po­lit­i­cal tur­moil in Mal­dives and the re­ports about PLAN flexing its mar­itime mus­cle in the re­gion. At least eight In­dian war­ships backed by long- and medium-range mar­itime re­con­nais­sance air­craft are de­ployed in the strate­gi­cally im­por­tant In­dian ocean re­gion (Ior). this mis­sion-based de­ploy­ment of war­ships in the crit­i­cally im­por­tant re­gion helped the In­dian Navy to en­hance its mon­i­tor­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. In­dian Navy has a ro­bust sur­veil­lance sys­tem and a re­al­time pic­ture of the hap­pen­ings in Ior as a re­sult the war­ships de­ployed near east In­dian ocean re­gion are de­tected soon af­ter en­ter­ing sunda strait in in­ter­na­tional wa­ters closer to Aus­tralian wa­ters. the move­ments are also picked up by the reg­u­lar p-8I long range mar­itime re­con­nais­sance and sur­veil­lance air­craft of the In­dian Navy.

In­dian Navy has two Ad­vanced Light he­li­copters (ALh) de­ployed in Mal­dives for sur­veil­lance and res­cue mis­sions. these he­li­copters are flown jointly by the Mal­dives and In­dian pi­lots. In ad­di­tion, one medium range re­con­nais­sance Dornier of Coast Guard is also sta­tioned there for keep­ing an eye on Mal­dives ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters and ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone. two radar sta­tions, part of In­dia’s coastal sur­veil­lance, are also in­stalled there to en­able Mal­dives and In­dia to get real time pic­ture of any move­ment there. these radars are linked with the coastal radar sur­veil­lance net­work.

As per re­cent re­ports, Mal­dives wishes In­dian govern­ment to take back one ALh and re­place it with Dornier mar­itime sur­veil­lance air­craft.

The In­dian Navy has ro­bust mar­itime do­main aware­ness and is main­tain­ing con­stant vigil in the In­dian Ocean amid po­lit­i­cal tur­moil in Mal­dives and the re­ports about PLAN flexing its mar­itime mus­cle in the re­gion

PHO­TO­GRAPHS: In­dian Navy

Ex Paschim Le­har (XPL 18) tested the op­er­a­tional ef­fec­tive­ness of the Western Naval Com­mand

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.