Indian Navy’s largest exercise Milan to bring together over 35 countries

admin February 14, 2022
Updated 2022/02/14 at 2:09 PM

The Navy will hold the 12th President’s Fleet Review (PFR) on February 21 in Visakhapatnam, and a few days later, it will host Milan 2022, the region’s largest multilateral exercise, which will include all major navies, including those from the Quad countries, Russia, and West Asia, amid tensions in Ukraine and developments in the region.

From February 25 to March 4, 46 nations have been invited to participate in Exercise Milan. According to a defence official, this would be the biggest multilateral exercise in the area, with over 35 nations having confirmed participation so far.

All Quad nations will be represented at this year’s Milan, with the United States being invited for the first time.

Among the invitees are all the Indian Ocean littoral nations as well as those from Southeast Asia. The exercise had 41 nations signed up for the 2020 version, with 30 of them confirming their participation, but it was cancelled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Milan is a biannual event that brings together the naval forces of all the nations in the area. It started in 1995 and is conducted every two years. It was formerly held in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar, but has since been relocated to Visakhapatnam, which provides better infrastructure and sea area for the exercise.

The harbour phase will take place from February 25 to February 28, while the sea phase will take place from March 1 to March 4. There are various subjects, including anti-submarine warfare, as well as discussions by subject area experts.

The Navy will also demonstrate its Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSRV) capabilities, which are designed to rescue submarines in trouble, during the drill. India is one of just a few nations in the area with this capacity.

Typically, the president conducts a fleet review once during his or her presidency. The Navy has performed 11 PFRs since independence, two of which were international fleet reviews in 2011 and 2016. According to one source, the Navy’s presidential review is second only to the Republic Day Parade in terms of importance.

This year’s PFR is planned to include more than 60 ships and submarines from the Navy, Coast Guard, Shipping Corporation of India, and the National Institute of Ocean Technology, as well as more than 50 aircraft.

There will be around 44 ships in port, one of which will be turned into the President’s yacht. In 1953, the inaugural PFR was hosted in honour of President Dr. Rajendra Prasad.

The Indian Navy’s activities in the Indo-Pacific have increased dramatically, with various nations eager to train with India. In recent years, India has inked a number of logistical assistance and white shipping agreements with a number of nations as part of attempts to enhance the operational turnaround and logistics of the Indian military forces in the area as well as boost Maritime Domain Awareness. Officials recognise that these agreements have aided in greatly boosting operational turnaround.

Source: The Hindu

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