New Delhi: The Indian Navy’s P8I aircraft will be participating in the US-led anti-submarine warfare exercise (ASW), called the ‘Sea Dragon’, from March 15-30. The exercise will see more complex drills compared to the previous editions. The P8I aircraft of the Indian Navy arrived at Guam, US on March 14. Along with this aircraft, the multilateral ASW will also witness participation from P8A of the US Navy, P1 from the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force, CP 140 from the Royal Canadian Air Force and P3C from the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).
This year, the ‘Sea Dragon 23’ exercise will test the capabilities of participating aircraft in tracking simulated and live underwater targets and simultaneously share mutual expertise, the Indian Navy said in a statement issued Thursday.
“The complexity and scope of these exercises has increased steadily over the past years to include advanced ASW drills,” the Navy said.
It added: “The Exercise aims to achieve high levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies, which is based on their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific.”
According to a note issued by the US Navy, the Sea Dragon 23, primarily focusses on ASW training and excellence, which culminates in over 270 hours of in-flight training ranging from tracking simulated targets to the final problem of tracking a US Navy submarine.
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3 Parts Of Exercise Sea Dragon: Warm-Ups, Training, Dragon Belt Competition
During classroom training sessions, pilots and flight officers from all countries will build plans and discuss tactics incorporating the capabilities and equipment of their respective nations.
Exercise Sea Dragon consists of three parts: introduction and warm-ups, training exercises, and the Dragon Belt competition. Last year the Dragon Belt award was accorded to the Royal Canadian Air Force.
“Sea Dragon is an excellent opportunity to work with our maritime partners who share our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. I’m extraordinarily proud to work alongside our professional Allies and partners from Canada, India, Japan, and Republic of Korea in the upcoming days,” said Commander, Task Force 72, Capt. Will Toraason.
Throughout the deployment, both squadrons will conduct maritime patrol and reconnaissance and theater outreach operations within the 7th Fleet area of operations, said the statement.
The 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.