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Navy, CG, IAF jointly begins 'Tropex-2010'

Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Viraat to particpate in 'Tropex-2010'

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Navy, Coast Guard and the IAF have kick-started a major joint war game in the Bay of Bengal off Visakhapatnam to test their synergy levels in a sea battle scenario.

Ahead of the exercise on Thursday, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar boarded India's sole aircraft carrier INS Viraat, deployed in the eastern front after several years, to watch the three armed forces going about their war drills codenamed 'Tropex-2010' in the sea.

"The exercise involves the participation of most major combatants of the Indian Navy, as also participation of the Indian Air Force and the Coast Guard," a Navy press release said here.

"Just as the combination of the two fleets and the elements of the sister services contribute to synergy, the presence of the Defence Secretary with the Navy Chief is indicative of the close coordination and synergy of the Navy and Defence Ministry, which is the key to enhancing effectiveness at the 'business end' of the Navy," it added.

The sword arms of the Navy, the Western and Eastern fleets, were presently carrying out a joint work up, after which they would proceed for a mock battle to test their tactical skills and operational readiness.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Airborne Early Warning (AEW) helicopters and advanced missile systems of the Navy and air-to-air re-fueller, Jaguars and Sukhoi-30 of the IAF were being deployed for the exercise. Missile, torpedo and gun firings would also be conducted. .

Several operational concepts, which have earlier been war-gamed as part of a series of table-top exercises played on paper in the various Maritime Warfare Centres (MWCs) of the Navy were now being practically exercised at sea, the release said.

"Lessons learnt during the exercise will be used to further develop the Navy’s tactical and operational doctrines.

Conduct of joint operations is one of the focused aims of the exercise," it added.

Observers from Army and Air Force too embarked various participating ships to gain first-hand experience of naval combat operations.

Overall, the exercise was intended to thoroughly test the human and material endurance of the Navy, the efficacy of its operational and logistics plans and its combat effectiveness, the release said.

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