Exercise sees participation of Quad countries, Canada and S. Korea
An Indian Navy P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft participated in multinational Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Exercise Sea Dragon-22 at Guam in the U.S. that saw the participation of Quad countries, Canada and South Korea. The two-week exercise began on January 5 and concluded on January 20.
“The exercise was aimed to enhance interoperability among participating nations by evolving common tactics in response to emerging traditional and non-traditional security challenges in maritime domain,” the Navy said in a statement.
Naval aircraft from the U.S., India, Japan, Canada, Australia and South Korea – which included P8A, P8I, P1, CP140 Aurora and P3C Orion maritime reconnaissance aircraft practised high-end ASW skills. “The aircrew also undertook professional interaction with other participants from friendly foreign countries,” the Navy stated.
Sea Dragon is an annual, multi-national high-end exercise hosted by the U.S. Navy. This year, it had deployed two P-8A Poseidon aircraft.
Sea Dragon-22, primarily centering on ASW training and excellence, culminates in over 270 hours of inflight training; ranging from tracking simulated targets to the final problem of tracking a live U.S. Navy submarine, the US. Navy 7th Fleet said in a statement before the exercise commenced.
“During classroom training sessions, pilots and flight officers from all countries build plans and discuss tactics incorporating the capabilities and equipment of their respective nations,” the statement noted. During the exercise, each event is graded, and the nation scoring the highest total points will receive the coveted Dragon Belt award.
Chinese naval presence
ASW has also been a focus area among India, Australia, Japan and U.S. in the annual Malabar naval exercise, especially in the backdrop of increasing Chinese naval presence, especially submarines, in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The Indian Navy’s tempo of exercises and engagements has significantly gone up in recent years coinciding with the shift in global attention to the Indo-Pacific. Maritime Domain Awareness has emerged as a major area of cooperation with friendly countries in the IOR.
In addition to white shipping information, it also includes information on military and naval assets of hostile/adversarial countries; assessment of maritime activities of mutual concern and activities related to transnational maritime based threats, as reported by The Hindu recently.
These engagements are further amplified by the bilateral logistics agreements, Navy to Navy agreements and information sharing agreements that India has concluded with several countries.
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