Indian Navy conducts biggest exercise with INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant carrier battle groups in Arabian Sea

Team India Sentinels Saturday 10th of June 2023 12:39 PM

INS Vikrant (R11) and INS Vikramaditya during the exercise.  (Photo: Indian Navy)

New Delhi: In a first, the Indian Navy’s both battle carrier groups led by aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant have carried out one of the biggest operational exercises in the Arabian Sea this week. Apart from the two carriers, the drill involved over 35 aircraft and several frontline warships, the service said on Saturday. The Navy said the drill underscored the service’s commitment to secure the country’s national interests and maintain regional stability.

The drill, which was not announced before, is understood to have taken place over a few days.

INS Vikramaditya, which was docked for maintenance at Karwar port, sailed into the water after a gap of more than two years. INS Vikrant was commissioned into the force last September and is currently undergoing trials of its aviation complex.

Showcasing its formidable maritime capabilities, the Navy said it carried out the exercise in a “well-coordinated manner, involving all platforms”.

The Navy public relations officer, Commander Vivek Madhwal, said, “This demonstration of naval prowess underscores India's commitment to safeguarding its national interests, maintaining regional stability, and fostering cooperative partnerships in the maritime domain.”

He also stated that the operation also marks a significant milestone in Navy’s pursuit of enhancing maritime security and power projection in the Indian Ocean Region, and beyond.

“The exercise involved seamless integration of two aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and the indigenously built INS Vikrant along with a diverse fleet of ships, submarines, and aircraft, showcasing India’s technological expertise in the maritime domain,” Cdr Madhwal said

INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant, centrepieces of the exercise, serve as “floating sovereign airfields”, providing a launch platform for a wide array of aircraft, including MiG-29K fighter jets, helicopters, like the Sikorsky MH60R Seahawk, Kamov, Sea King, Chetak, and advanced light helicopters (ALH).

These mobile bases can be positioned anywhere, allowing for increased mission flexibility, timely response to emerging threats and sustained air operations to safeguard our national interests across the globe.

In addition, they provide our friendly nations with an assurance that the Indian Navy is capable and ready to support our “collective security” needs in the region. “The successful demonstration of two-carrier battle group operations serves as a powerful testament to the pivotal role of sea-based air power in maintaining maritime superiority,” the Navy PRO said.

“As India continues to strengthen its security apparatus, significance of aircraft carriers will remain paramount in shaping the nation's defence strategy and promoting regional stability,” Cdr Madhwal added.


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