Ships take part in Indian Navy’s largest war game – the biennial Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX 21)

New Delhi: The Indian Navy is carrying out a mega war game involving almost all operational assets like warships, submarines and aircraft over a vast geographical expanse in the Indian Ocean Region to test the force's combat readiness in a complex multi-dimensional scenario, officials said on Wednesday,

The biennial 'Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX)' aims to validate the Navy's offensive as well as defence capabilities and safeguard national interests in the maritime domain besides promoting peace and stability in the Indian Ocean, they said.

"Indian Navy's largest war game, the biennial TROPEX 21, which commenced in early January is currently underway with participation of all operational units of Indian Navy including ships, submarines, aircraft as well as units of the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard," the Navy said.

It said the exercise will culminate by the third week of February.

The exercise is taking place at a time China has been making increasing forays into the Indian Ocean region as part of its offensive military manoeuvre. "The exercise is being conducted over a vast geographical expanse in the Indian Ocean Region including its adjunct waters and is aimed at testing combat readiness of the Navy in a complex multi-dimensional scenario set in the context of the current geo strategic environment," the Navy said in a statement.

It said the conduct of TROPEX is being overseen by the Naval headquarters with participation from all three commands of the Indian Navy and the tri-services command at Port Blair.

"TROPEX is being progressed over distinct phases that also test the Navy's transition from peacetime to hostilities," the Navy said.

As part of the first phase of the exercise, the Indian Navy along with other stakeholders held a two-day mega drill in January covering the country's 7,516 km coastline and exclusive economic zone.

The 'Sea Vigil' exercise from January 12-13 was billed as India's largest coastal defence drill and it was aimed at validating the coastal defence setup which was revamped after the 26/11 terror attack.

"Valuable lessons emerging from the exercise are being incorporated in the existing procedures to further fine-tune the coastal defence architecture of the country," the Navy said.

"Exercise Sea Vigil was followed by a large-scale tri-service joint amphibious exercise AMPHEX-21, which was conducted in the Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands from January 21-25," it said.

The amphibious exercise was aimed at validating India's capabilities to safeguard the territorial integrity of its island territories and enhance operational synergy and joint warfighting capabilities amongst the three services, the Navy said.

"The weapon workup phase of TROPEX, which concluded recently, witnessed multiple 'on-target' ordnance deliveries including missiles, torpedoes and rockets from frontline warships, aircraft and submarines and demonstrated the lethal firepower of the Indian Navy," the Navy said.

It said the 'weapon workout' phase also reaffirmed the Navy's capability to carry out long range maritime strikes in the Indian Ocean Region, a capability that is central to meeting operational challenges and ensuring safe seas and secure coasts.