Navy completes four-month-long war game, TROPEX-23 - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla

The exercise included a combat firing phase, during which warships fired torpedoes, depth charges, surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-surface missiles.

By Vikas Gupta

Defence News of India, 10 Mar 23

Every two years, the Indian Navy goes to sea and conducts a major combat exercise to check that it is ready in every way for war. This year’s exercise, called “Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise 2023” (TROPEX-23), culminated this week in the Arabian Sea after lasting four months from November 2022 to March 2023.

Located in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), including the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, the exercise spanned approximately 4,300 nautical miles from north to south to 35 degrees south and 5 000 nautical miles from the Persian Gulf to the northern coast of Australia, extending over 21 million square nautical miles.

TROPEX-23 saw the participation of around 70 Indian Navy ships, six submarines and more than 75 aircraft.

These warships belong to both the Western and Eastern naval fleets. One year, the western fleet sails to the Bay of Bengal to participate in TROPEX, while the eastern fleet sails to the Arabian Sea the following year. Part of the fleet is designated as the enemy “Red Force”, which clashes with the “Blue Force” – a component of the Indian Navy.

When transiting from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal, or vice versa, the fleet performs various maneuvers to ensure that it is “worked up” or combat ready for TROPEX, when it begins.

The overall exercise includes a combat firing phase, during which warships fire torpedoes, depth charges, surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-surface missiles to ensure that the ammunition of the warships shoot as they should.

TROPEX-23 also included a coastal defense component, Exercise Sea Vigil; as well as an amphibious component, the AMPHEX exercise. Both of these exercises had significant participation from the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard.

The culmination of TROPEX-23 ends an intense operational phase for the Indian Navy which began in November 2022.

In the latest joint phase of the exercise, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh spent a day at sea on Monday aboard India’s first aircraft carrier (IAC-1),NSIvikrant.

“He reviewed the operational readiness and material readiness of the Indian Navy in which the navy demonstrated operational maneuvers and various facets of combat operations including native LCA bridge operations and gunfire real,” the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Thursday.

In an address to the Eastern and Western Naval Fleets, Rajnath praised the Navy’s operational readiness. He said the country relies on the navy to ensure that the economic lifelines and military capabilities of our adversaries are disrupted to the point where their combat efforts can no longer be sustained.

“(Rajnath also said) that the Indian Navy is fully capable of safeguarding India’s national interests in the maritime domain and will thwart the evil designs of any potential adversary who seeks to threaten India’s peaceful existence “, said the Ministry of Defense.

Referring to “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (Self-Governing India) Initiative, Defense Minister Praised Indian Navy to be at the forefront of “Made in India” initiative and to live up to its motto “Combat-ready, believable, consistent and future-proof.”