Milan – 2024 multinational naval exercise to start from February 19 at Visakhapatnam, 50 countries likely to participate

Team India Sentinels Thursday 8th of February 2024 10:31 AM

A submarine and several warships during Milan – 2022. (File photo via special arrangement.)

New Delhi: The 12th edition of the Indian Navy’s biennial multinational exercise, Milan – 2024, is all set to be organized in Visakhapatnam under the Eastern Naval Command from February 19 to February 24, the Navy said on Thursday.

The previous edition of Milan exercise was held between February 25 and March 4, 2022, in Visakhapatnam under the theme “Camaraderie – Cohesion – Collaboration”. During that edition, apart from India, 39 countries had participated in the event, including major players, like the US, UK, Japan, and Australia, showcase their naval prowess.. This year, it is likely to see 50 friendly countries participating in the event, including ships from 20 countries.

The Milan exercise, which means “meeting” or “confluence” in Hindi, started in 1995, with the involvement of four foreign nations – Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand – in line with India’s “Look East policy”. The first 10 editions of this exercise were overseen by the Andaman and Nicobar Command. As the exercise gained prominence and necessitated a larger venue, Visakhapatnam, also known as the “City of Destiny”, emerged as the preferred location for future Milan exercises.

The city’s suitability stems from several factors: it serves as a major commercial hub, boasts a sizable port, features a steep coastal gradient close to its shores (allowing ships to operate nearby), and offers an extensive coastline, providing an excellent viewing experience for the public. Notably, Ramakrishna (RK) Beach provides a scenic backdrop, complemented by robust infrastructure, making it conducive for hosting various Milan events, including operational demonstrations and the international city parade.

This eight-day megadrill will not be just about size but promises substance too. According to the Navy, Milan-24 will comprise two distinct phases: the “harbour phase” and the “sea phase”.

During the harbour phase, cultural exchange among participating nations takes centre stage. The activities planned include the international maritime seminar, international city parade, maritime tech exhibition, subject matter expert exchange, and the “milan” (meeting) of young officers, along with various sporting events.

In the subsequent sea phase, ships from friendly foreign countries, along with Indian Navy aircraft and other units, will engage in large-force manoeuvres, advanced air-defence operations, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface operations.


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