The Indian Navy will kick-start a two-day mega defence exercise on Tuesday covering the country’s 7516 km coastline and exclusive economic zone, officials said. Billed as India’s largest coastal defence exercise, it will involve all the 13 coastal states and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders, they said.
“The second edition of the biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise ‘Sea Vigil-21’ will be conducted on January 12-13,” the Navy said.
It said the scale and conceptual expanse of the exercise are “unprecedented” in terms of the geographical extent and the number of stakeholders involved, units participating and objectives to be met.
“The exercise is a build-up towards the major theatre level exercise TROPEX which Indian Navy conducts every two years,” it said.
TROPEX – and its larger context
TROPEX, a month-long exercise, stands for Theatre-Level Readiness and Operational Exercise, and is carried out by the Indian Navy every two years.
In the intervening period, the Western Naval Command and the Eastern Naval Command hold their individual exercises.
TROPEX assesses the operational preparedness of the Navy. The last TROPEX was carried out in the first two months of 2019, involving around 60 Naval ships along with 12 Coast Guard vessels and 60 planes.
Besides the Navy, units from the Army, IAF and Coast Guard take part in the exercise to bolster interoperability.
TROPEX typically includes three phases – the independent workup phase, the joint workup phase, and the tactical phase. In the last one, an actual war-like situation is simulated. All the capabilities of the Navy are tested to see if they meet the objectives as laid down before the exercise commences.