Military Execises –– Feb to Nov 2008

An IDC Report and Analysis

(Compiled from media reports)

New Delhi, 17 November 2008

Took part in Ex Malabar '08

Military Prowess On Display To Diplomats

February 04, 2008

Army and Air Force showcased the strides made by them in conventional warfare in a major weeklong exercise in Rajasthan inviting foreign diplomats to witness their fire power. A strong Chinese military observer group also witnessed the exercises. These were the biggest war games to be conducted by the armed forces since Operation Desert Strike in 2004-05. Keeping in view close proximity to Pakistan, Islamabad was informed about the event.

The Army's showcased T-90 tanks acquired from Russia, SMERCH long-range rocket missiles, spy drones and latest Air Defence Gun and missile systems. The IAF pressed into action its frontline Sukhoi-30's, Mig-27 and upgraded Mig-21 bisons, in the war games.

A special 'Fire and Maneuver' display for the large number of foreign dignitaries and defence attaches of 'friendly' countries was also included.

India–China Military Exercises

Feb 24, 2008.

The first-ever military manoeuvres between the world's most populous nations were held in China in December 07, when about 200 Indian and Chinese troops jointly "took out" a group of supposed terrorists along their border.

The second joint military exercises with China were to be hosted by India in September-October 2008, as the neighbours continue to mend ties, after the bitter border war in 1962.

"The exercise has given impetus to the ongoing Confidence Building Measures between the two countries and is a positive step towards increased military-to-military interaction," the Defence minister said.

Indian Navy Conquers North Pole

April 10:

A ten-member team of the Indian Navy created history by reaching the North Pole and joining an elite group of adventurers who have conquered the “three poles”. “The Three Poles Challenge includes successful traverse to the North Pole, South Pole and ascent of Mt Everest, considered to be the third pole. By far, this is regarded as amongst the most daring feats in the genre of adventure sports,” the Indian Navy spokesperson said. The team earlier created many records, including a successful ascent of Mt Everest in 2004 and ski traverse to the geographic South Pole in 2006.

The team, led by Commander Satyabrata Dam, hoisted the national flag on the “top of the world” late on Wednesday night after a tough seven day ski traverse through “high winds, freezing temperatures, polar bears, water leads, pressure ridges and variable sea drift.”

India-Singapore Maritime Bitateral Exercises (SIMBEX - 2008)

March 2008

SIMBEX is an acronym that stands for 'Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercises' and is an institutionalised and regular series of annual exercises conducted between the Indian Navy and the navy of the Republic of Singapore (RSN). The Indian Navy's operational interaction with the RSN, which commenced with modesty – pitched anti-submarine training exercises in 1994, has grown steadily and impressively over the past 14 years. 'SIMBEX 2008', currently being conducted on India's Eastern seaboard between the 16th and 30th of this month.

Singapore fielded one 'Endurance class' landing platform dock (RSS Persistence), one 'Formidable class' frigate (RSS Formidable), two 'Victory Class' guided- missile corvettes (RSS Vigilance and Valour), and one 'Fokker-50' maritime patrol aircraft. Indian participation in the exercise included one guided missile destroyer (INS Rajput), one guided-missile frigate (INS Gomati), two guided-missile corvettes (Kirch & Kuthar), two missile vessels (Vinash Vibhut), one fast attack craft (INS Trinkat), one submarine(INS VAGLI) shore-based fighter aircraft(IN Kiran & IAF MIG-27s) medium-range maritime patrol aircraft (Dornier) and shipborne helicopters. Bilateral interaction was progressed at sea as well as in harbour. Whilst the harbour phase focussed on sharing operational experiences through professional interaction, the sea phase concentrated upon the conduct of a plethora of exercises ranging from surface firings and anti aircraft engagements to anti submarine warfare exercises and serials involving the deployment and coordination of maritime patrol aircraft as well as shore based fighters.

The Indian Navy lays great stress on enhancing and sustaining bilateral ties, as also on improving mutual understanding with regional navies, through exercises such as those of the SIMBEX series. These exercises not only provide immense training value to our sea going personnel but also help in fostering mutual trust and friendship between our respective nations, adding strength to our commitment and resolve to tackle common challenges with the maritime domain.

Army & Air Force Jointly Execute Air-Land Battle Concept During Exercise Brazen Chariots

March 20, 2008

The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force jointly executed the Air Land Battle doctrine at Pokharan Field Firing Ranges during Exercise “Brazen Chariots” Yesterday. This doctrine is based on manoeuvre and rapid response to disrupt enemy’s decision cycle. It is also associated with the idea of an extended battlefield, intended to disrupt and delay the enemy’s follow on echelons. Organic weapons of the Army may not always be capable of achieving this objective due to their limited range and mobility. This can most effectively be carried out by air power. The probability of future conventional wars being short, swift and intense has necessitated a shift in focus of land battle to manoeuvre warfare. The Air Land doctrine stresses on the fundamental shift away from the past attrition style of warfare to one of air arm making a significant contribution to the success of battle. It progressively recognizes that the inherent flexibility, variety and reach of airpower makes it a prime contributor to the future war.

During the exercise, the latest weaponry were fielded by the Indian Army and the IAF, in a joint and synergistic Air-Land battle setting. In addition the IAF’s ability and reach to para drop Special Forces and Para Troopers with heavy combat and logistic loads was being integrated in this exercise. The joint operations with ground forces demonstrated the synergy and team spirit. During the exercise fighters transport aircraft and helicopters including SU-30, MIG 21, MIG 27, IL 76, AN 32, MI-17 and MI-35 aircraft unleashed its firepower of a variety of weapons on simulated targets like artillery gun positions, company defended localities, communication nodes, logistics camps and armoured depots. The Army Aviation was also used for tactical mobility of land forces during the exercise.

The Exercise involved engagement of an air target by shoulder fired air defence missiles, special heliborne operations, firing of multi barrel launcher batteries, helidrop, deployment and firing of a mortar battery and conduct of airborne operations. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with electronic sensors were also used to provide necessary support to these simulated operations.

Exercise BRAZEN CHARIOTS, was witnessed by senior military dignitaries of about 60 countries.

Joint Exercises with Different Countries

March 19, 2008

The names of countries with which India has conducted joint defence exercises in the last two years are USA, France, UK, Oman, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, China, Maldives and Mongolia. These exercises have helped in enhancing interoperability with defence forces of friendly foreign countries and in increasing military to military cooperation.

This information was given by the Defence Minister Shri A K Antony in a written reply to Smt. Jaya Bachchan in Rajya Sabha today.

Joint Special Forces Exercise of IAF with NSG

March 2008

Indian Air Force’s special force ‘Garud’ conducted a week long joint exercise with the National Security Guards named ‘Black Eagle – I’. The exercise was conducted in two phases from 07 Mar 08 to 14 Mar 08. The first phase was conducted at Garud Regimental Training Centre (GRTC) and the second phase was conducted at NSG Force Headquarters at Manesar. The aim of the exercise was to develop compatibility between the Special Forces on each other’s tactics, techniques and procedures and hone their collective skills for special missions. The exercise cultiminated with a capability demonstration by joint forces at NSG Manesar on 14 Mar 08. This demonstration was witnessed by the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal FH Major and Director General of National Security Guards Shri Jyoti Krishan Dutt IPS. Senior officers from IAF and NSG were also present during the occasion.

Joint Military Exercise with France

Joint exercises with friendly foreign countries are considered on case to case basis based on our need to engage them as directed by our National Security Guidelines. During the last one year joint exercises were conducted with France, USA, UK, Singapore, Russia, Thailand, China, Mongolia, Oman and Maldives. The expenses incurred on conduct of these exercises are determined by the nature and complexity of the exercise for which specific expenditure sanction is issued with the approval of the competent authority.

Joint exercises benefit the Indian Army by enhancing its capability through exchange of best practices and procedures and exposure to advanced technologies. Joint exercises also build interoperability, mutual understanding and give impetus to the ongoing Military to Military Cooperation.

Indo-UK Naval Exercise

Apr 18, 2008

India and the UK held their latest round of maritime engagements with a low-key joint naval exercise codenamed 'Konkan 2008', starting from Goa coast. The maritime interdiction exercise, third in a series that started in 2004, featured frontline warships of the Royal Navy, including the Illustrious Aircraft Carrier and the HMS Trafalgar nuclear submarine.

The 10-day-long exercise, aimed at building confidence and interoperability between the navies, focused on aerial operations and joint tactical manoeuvers for maritime interdiction. While only Indian and UK warships participated in the exercise, the American Navy's USS Cole observed the manoeuvers.

The exercise featured the 'Merlin' anti-submarine warfare helicopters of the Royal Navy, besides the HMS Westminster guided missile destroyer and two support vessels. From the Indian side, frontline warships, including the Mysore and Rajput, took part in the exercise, besides a Kilo-class diesel submarine. However, India's sole aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, did not take part as it is out of commission for the next year. The Navy has decided to keep it in service till 2012 when the Gorshkov is scheduled to arrive. In the absence of the carrier, the Navy operated its Sea Harriers for the joint exercise.

SA, India, Brazil Conduct Joint Naval Exercise

May 06, 2008

India, Brazil and South Africa started a 10-day long joint naval exercise in Durban aimed at tackling terrorism at sea. The exercise called IBSAMAR, which started on along the Cape Town coast will continue till May 15.

India's INS Mumbai and INS Karmukh will take part in the event, which includes the very basic to the most advanced, and involving submarines and aircraft. South Africa, India and Brazil, who form part of the new forum IBSA, will sport their biggest frigates and test the latest electronic systems against each other in a simulated war situation.

Indian – French Navy Joint Exercise ‘Varuna 08’

May, 2008

The tenth INDO-FRENCH bilateral exercise “VARUNA 08” was held off our east coast from 08 to 16 May 08. The Indian Naval group consisted of the newly inducted Landing Platform Dock (LPD) Jalashwa, Guided-Missile Destroyer Ranjit, Guided Missile Corvette Kirch and the submarine Vagli. The French task force comprised of their Landing Platform Dock Mistral and the Guided Missile Destroyer Dupleix and an embedded Royal Navy Frigate Westminister. The Joint’ Task Force’ for the exercise was commanded by Rear Admiral Alain Hinden of the French Navy.

The ‘VARUNA’ series of bilateral exercise is a significant facet of the growing co-operation between Indian and France. This series of exercises between the navies of the two nations commenced in 2001 and has grown in scope and complexity over the years. Nine exercises conducted thus far have met the underlying aims of facilitating mutual learning and cross-pollination of best practices.

India Begins Naval Games With France, Africa

17 Aug 2008

Continuing with its policy of constructively engaging countries in West Asia and Africa to make its presence felt in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), India has sent four of its major warships to the Red Sea and the African coast on a two-month-long deployment.

"The Indian ships will be present in the IOR for a while, doing some flag showing and also engaging in naval diplomacy with some port calls, mid-sea exercises and interaction with personnel from the navies of the West Asian countries and the African continent," a top Navy official said.

The Indian warships INS Delhi, INS Talwar, INS Godavari and INS Aditya will simultaneously be visiting countries and ports all along the eastern African coast and some ports in the Red Sea, apart from exercising with the French navy in the Gulf. Delhi and Talwar have already completed their visit to Safaga port in Egypt in Red Sea between August 5 and 8, while Godavari and Aditya sailed to Refaet-al-Assad in Syria. The ships would now be sailing Mombasa, the second largest port-city of Kenya, Darasalam in Nigeria, other east African ports and a couple of ports in Madagascar Island and Mauritius

Indo–US Bilateral Naval Exercise – Malabar 08

Oct, 2008

Naval cooperation between India and the USA epitomises the logical relationship between two large and responsible maritime powers. Both navies have, over the years, undertaken diverse bilateral activities such as training exchanges, information exchange, and technical cooperation. The navies, much like their parent nations have significant convergence of interests, especially in the maintenance of maritime security in this fragile region. Towards this, an India – USA Framework for Maritime Security Cooperation was signed in 2006. What this translates into, on ground, is that, both navies need to periodically 'exercise' at sea / in harbour, so as to build interoperability, as also share 'best practices'.

The annual MALABAR series of exercises that commenced in 1992 provides such an opportunity. Eleven such exercises have been held so far. The twelfth of the series, Exercise MALABAR 08, will be conducted in the Arabian Sea in Oct 08, in which frontline units from both the navies will participate. The scope of MALABAR exercise includes diverse activities, ranging from gun-firing and fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers, to combating the scourge of terror, through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises.

During MALABAR 08, the US Navy will be represented by the Ronald Reagan Strike Group (RRSG) of the USN 7th Fleet which is based at Yokosuka, Japan. The RRSG will include USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, USS Chancellorsville, USS Gridley, USS Decatur, USS Thach and USS Bridge, an underway replenishment tanker. In addition, one submarine, USS Springfield and one P3C Orion aircraft will also participate in the exercise.

The Indian Navy will be represented by, INS Mumbai, an indigenous Delhi Class guided missile destroyer, INS Rana, a Rajput Class guided missile destroyer and four guided missile frigates, namely, INS Talwar, Godavari, Brahmaputra and Betwa. In addition, INS Aditya which is an underway replenishment tanker and one Shishumar class submarine, Sea Harrier fighters, fixed and rotary wing aircraft are also scheduled to participate in the joint exercise.

The regular IN-USN interaction over the years has resulted in an increase in the complexity and professional content of the bilateral exercise. The thrust of the exercise this year would be on Surface/Air Operations, Advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Firings, VBSS (Visit Board Search and Seizure) and Submarine Operations.

The exercise is primarily aimed at deriving mutual benefit from the experiences of the two participating professional navies. The confidence gained through interoperability during such exercises has proved to be of immense use, particularly, when involved in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.

India, China Aim to Hold Regular Joint Exercises

4 Nov 2008

Despite differences, the Elephant and the Dragon are getting all set for a full-fledged military tango now. India and China are stepping up the pace of their bilateral confidence building measures, with joint exercises and regular exchanges on the anvil.

Even as Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta hosted his Chinese counterpart Admiral Wu Shengli here, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal F H Major was in Beijing holding talks with his People's Liberation Army Air Force Chief General Xu Qiliang to promote bilateral defence cooperation.

"The aim is to steadily expand bilateral military-to-military ties and strengthen mutual confidence between the two armed forces," said a top official. In keeping with this policy to "constructively engage" China in the military arena, the first-ever Sino-Indian military combat exercise on Indian soil — with counter-terrorism as its primary thrust area — will be held at Belgaum in December, 2008 as was earlier reported by TOI.

Moreover, IAF's Suryakiran aerobatic team will perform for the first time in China this week, displaying its dare-devil stunts at the Zhuhai Air Show near Shanghai. The Indian and Chinese armed forces have been incrementally building up their military ties, which in December 2007 led to the first-ever joint counter-terrorism exercise between the two armies at Kunming, with the return exercise to be held in India in December.

IAF Plans Joint Exercise with China

17 Nov 2008

Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, who recently paid a visit to the neighbouring country, said that a joint exercise of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and PLA Air Force was planned as part of building ties with Republic of China.

"During my recent visit to China the 'Surya Kiran' aircraft team displayed an excellent aerobatic show there. We also had useful discussions with my counterpart and we have planned a joint air force exercise in the near future. The Chinese army is coming for joint army exercises in December in Belgaum."

On acquisition of 126 fighter aircraft for IAF, he said the flight evaluation will take place shortly before final induction of these planes.

Admitting gaps in air defence system which has been pointed out by the CAG in its report, the Air Chief Marshal said the government was for strengthening our radar system and new systems are being acquired.


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