With China and Pakistan on mind, the Indian Navy’s annual combat readiness (TROPEX 17) was conducted in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Goa from January 24 to February 23, 2017. The month-long exercise saw the participation of over 45 ships of the Western and Eastern Naval Commands of the Indian Navy, including the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, five submarines including the nuclear-powered Chakra, 50 Naval aircraft, 11 ships from the Coast Guard, troops from the Army and 20 aircraft from the Air Force including Su 30s, Jaguars and AWACS.
The largest military exercise, in complete coordination with the Army and Air Force, was conducted in phases to test the various facets of war-fighting and joint combat capabilities of the armed forces to respond to given threat situations. The exercise witnessed various weapon firings by ships, submarines and aircraft from both the Indian Navy and Air Force. This year’s edition of TROPEX included the conduct of large scale ‘Out of Area Contingency’ in island territory, which saw the participation of all three services and their special forces. TROPEX 2017 culminated with Tactical Phase conducted over 10 days, and saw intense action by both the opposing forces. The interaction of the forces helped validate operational war fighting concepts and provided valuable lessons to sharpen combat skills.
TROPEX 2017 assumes great significance in the backdrop of current security scenario, an official statement said without naming any country.
However, security experts opine that TROPEX exercises look at threats posed by the Pakistan Air Force and Navy as well as the growing assertiveness of China, which has sent nuclear and conventional submarines, warships and fleet-replenishment ships in the Indian Ocean, causing concerns in India.
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