The Indian Navy’s Annual Theatre Readiness Operational Exercise (TROPEX) got underway on January 24, 17. The month long exercise, conducted off the Western seaboard, had ships and aircraft of both the Western and Eastern Naval Commands, as also assets from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and the Indian Coast Guard exercising together. The last edition of the exercise was conducted in January 2015.
TROPEX-17 saw the participation of major surface combatants and air assets of the Indian Navy including the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, nuclear submarine Chakra, Landing Platform Dock (LPD) Jalashwa, the recently commissioned destroyer Chennai, the P-8I long range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft operating alongside SU-30 MKI, Jaguars, AWACS, IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft of the Indian Air Force and Infantry units of the Indian Army. The exercise was conducted in various phases, both in harbour and at sea encompassing the various facets of war-fighting and combat operations. This included gunnery shoots, surface-to-air missile engagements, Brahmos firing and operations of the combined fleet in a complex multi threat environment including sub surface and air threats.The Indian Navy’s upgraded IL 38 long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft also carried out successful anti-ship missile firing in the Arabian Sea. The IL 38 SD aircraft has undertaken this maiden firing post modification and midlife upgrade, thereby demonstrating its highly potent Anti Ship Missile (AShM) attack capability. The development ratifies Indian Navy’s ability to ensure long range sea denial around Indian Subcontinent. The area of operations for TROPEX spans across the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea and North Central Indian Ocean and serves as an opportunity to validate the Indian Navy’s Concepts of Operation.