Navy to deploy aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant for Milan-2024 in Vizag

Milan was conducted in Visakhapatnam from 25 February 2022 to 4 March 2022 with 40 countries participating.

ByPTI

Published Dec 04, 2023 | 1:02 PMUpdated Dec 04, 2023 | 1:02 PM

Navy to deploy aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant for Milan-2024 in Vizag

The Indian Navy has planned to deploy both its aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant on the eastern seaboard during Milan-2024, a flagship international naval exercise hosted in Visakhapatnam from 19 to 27 February 2024, a senior official said on Sunday, 3 December.

“The event will be held under the aegis of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of the Indian Navy with likely participation from nearly 50 friendly countries as a delegation, and 20 foreign warships along with one maritime patrol aircraft,” said Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, Flag-Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) Eastern Naval Command.

Navies from the US, Japan, Australia, France, Bangladesh, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia are set to be among the participating nations in the Milan-2024 exercise to be conducted off Visakhapatnam next year, he added.

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Biggest multilateral military war game

The upcoming exercise will be the biggest multilateral military war game to be hosted by India ever. It will feature large-force manoeuvres, advanced air defence operations, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface drills.

The aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant, which will be the centrepieces of the exercise, serve as floating sovereign airfields providing a launch platform for a wide array of aircraft.

An international maritime seminar, tabletop exercises, a demonstration of the Indian Navy’s deep submergence rescue vessel, a multilateral exercise at sea, a city parade and some other social and cultural events are part of the plans for Milan 2024, Pendharkar said.

“These joint drills will also highlight the Navy’s expanding role in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as a first responder and preferred security partner. Presence and operational reach by the Indian Navy has been steadily enhanced through mission-based deployments and other operational engagements,” Pendharkar said.

To a question on increasing Chinese forays into the Indian Ocean, Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar opined that China may have a legitimate reason to be present in the IOR for economic activities.

“The Indian Navy keeps an eye on all that is happening there and tries to maintain surveillance of the extra-regional forces in this region,” he said.

“Milan” was conducted in Visakhapatnam from 25 February to 4 March 2022 with 40 participating countries.

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