Indian Navy undertakes major joint exercise in Arabian Sea

Indian: Over 40 warships and submarines, along with fighter jets, maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters and drones, participated in a major exercise undertaken by the Navy in the Arabian Sea to fine-tune operational plans and combat tactics.

The 20-day joint maritime exercise “Paschim Lehar”, conducted by the Western Naval Command (WNC) under the command of Vice Admiral A B Singh, was also aimed at enhancing inter-service synergy with the Army, IAF and Coast Guard, officials said on Wednesday.

In the “intra-theatre” exercise, which included the mobilization of over 40 warships and submarines, the IAF deployed Sukhoi-30MKI and Jaguar maritime strike fighters, IL-78 mid-air refueling and AWACs (airborne warning and control systems) aircraft.
The Navy, in turn, fielded MiG-29K fighters, long-range P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier and IL-38 SD planes. “Various elements of the Army included air defence batteries. After a long gap, many offshore patrol vessels, fast-patrol craft and air-cushion vessels of the Coast Guard also participated in the exercise,” an officer said.

“A variety of weapon firings in a realistic tactical scenario, besides validation of operational missions and tasks under varying settings, were undertaken during the exercise,” he said.
“The exercise provided all participating forces an opportunity to operate together under realistic conditions, in responding to contemporary maritime challenges across the areas of the WNC’s area of responsibility,” he added.