Indian Navy validates new maritime warfare doctrine
Utilising some of its newly inducted assets like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), airborne early warning helicopters and cutting edge missiles, the Indian Navy has validated its new warfare doctrine during an exercise conducted off the country's west coast.
The just-concluded TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercises) 2007, the navy's largest annual exercise, commenced on Jan 30 and saw the participation of all the force's major combatants, as also significant elements from the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Coast
'The thrust of this year's edition was to validate the concept of 'Maritime Manoeuvre from the Sea' that is designed to ensure that in a short, swift and intense conflict, the navy is able to directly address and favourably influence the progress and outcome of the air-land battle,' a navy spokesman said Monday.
Toward this end, the recently acquired Israeli UAVs, Kamov-31 AEW helicopters, and state-of-the-art surface-to-air missile-systems like the Barak, Shtil, and Kashmir, as also land-attack missiles, 'all of which represent major accretions in the navy's capabilities', were also deployed, he added.
Several new operational concepts that had earlier been 'war gamed' as part of a series of tabletop exercises were played out at sea and valuable lessons learnt.
'These lessons will now be fed back into the navy's analysis organisations and will, thereafter, be utilised to refine operational doctrines,' the spokesman said.
Principal among these concepts were those relating to 'jointmanship' that seeks to enhance the efficacy of operations planned and executed jointly by operational commanders of the four services.
'Significantly higher levels of coordination were achieved during TROPEX-2007', which was also witnessed by senior representatives from the defence and shipping ministries, the spokesman said.
'Overall, the exercise provided tremendous training value through the testing of human and material endurance, the execution of organisational and logistics plans, and, finally, delivering the punch in a mock battle.
'Activities such as the activation of the country's coastal defence organisation, naval control of merchant shipping, and the chartering of merchant ships to augment the logistics train at sea were also comprehensively exercised to assess the effectiveness of the navy's plans,' the spokesman said.