Pulwama terror strike
+ last month, continue to maintain a high state of alertness to “deter and defeat any misadventure” by Pakistan.
“The Indian Navy’s overwhelming superiority in all three dimensions – surface, under the sea and in the air – forced the Pakistan Navy to remain deployed close to the Makran coast and not venture out in the open ocean after the Pulwama terror attack,” said Navy spokesperson Captain D K Sharma on Sunday.
The Navy was conducting its largest war game, the Tropex-2019 (theatre level operational readiness exercise), with around 60 warships as well as 12 Coast Guard ships and 60 aircraft in the western seaboard when 40 CRPF troopers were killed by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora in the Pulwama district of J&K on February 14.
With the government approving “non-military, pre-emptive action” against crossborder terror infrastructure, the IAF undertook the
pre-dawn strikes on the major Jaish-e-Muhammed facility
+ at Balakot in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan on February 26.
By then, even as tensions between India and Pakistan escalated, the Navy too had swung into action by changing gears from the training exercise to forward operational deployment of its assets, which included aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and nuclear submarines INS Arihant and INS Chakra, in the north Arabian Sea.
“The availability of such a large number of combat-ready assets in the theatre of operations for Tropex-2019 allowed the Navy to expeditiously respond to the developing situation in synergy with IAF and Army. Naval forces have the versatility to rapidly switch from one role to another,” said Captain Sharma.
While Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will be in Kochi on Monday to preside over the “debrief” of Tropex-2019 with his top operational commanders, the bulk of Indian warships and submarines remain in the north Arabian Sea to “maintain the stepped-up operational posture” in the region. The Army and IAF, of course, are also maintaining a high state of operational readiness, with the latter flying regular “combat air patrols” in the western sector.
“The day-long review at Kochi is intended to examine the conduct of Tropex-2019, which was initially slated to end on March 10 after beginning on January 7, and to assess the force’s operational preparedness,” said the spokesperson.
Tropex-2019 was the largest exercise in terms of geographical spread covering the Indian Ocean Region as well as in terms of the number of participating units. “A realistic audit of the Navy’s deployment philosophy and fighting capability will be also be undertaken in the review. The lessons learnt from the exercise will provide the planners accurate assessments to fine tune force structuring requirements, operational logistics, as also material and training imperatives,” he added.
Indian warships, submarines & aircraft maintain high operational alertness to ‘deter, defeat any misadve – Times of India