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Indian armed forces conduct conjoint exercises in Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian armed forces have conducted large scale conjoint training exercises called KAVACH and AMPHEX-21 in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, the Defence ministry said on Monday.

The exercise -- which involved the assets of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard -- was conducted under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) with participation of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) and the Army Southern Command (SC), the ministry's statement noted.

"The exercise commenced with maritime strikes by Jaguar aircraft and Para Commandos and Marine Commandos carrying out combat free fall (high altitude military parachuting) at Car Nicobar island "with an aim to validate air dominance and maritime strike capability within the area of interest in Indian Ocean Region (IOR)", it said.

As part of shaping the battlefield, Marine Commandos along with their combat loads and ADR (air droppable rigid hull inflatable boats) were dropped over the Andaman Sea, enabling them to reach the target with stealth and speed, it noted.

"MI-17 V5 armed helicopters undertook precision targeting against designated enemy assets at sea and on land," the ministry noted.

These exercises took place at a time when Indian and Chinese armed forces are engaged in a tense and bitter standoff at their border areas in eastern Ladakh.

Close to 100,000 Indian and Chinese troops are deployed in eastern Ladakh as both sides have been holding on to their ground and showing readiness for a long-haul, amid continuing diplomatic and military talks to find an amicable solution.

The ninth round of military talks between India and China lasted for nearly 16 hours as the two sides held detailed deliberations on Sunday and Monday regarding disengagement of troops from all friction points in eastern Ladakh.

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