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Indian Navy's P-8I aircraft involved in Exercise Sea Dragon-24 in Guam

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The Indian Navy increased its presence in the Pacific with the arrival of P-8I aircraft at Guam for Exercise Sea Dragon 24 on January 9, 2024.

Indian Navy marked its presence in the Pacific region with the arrival of P-8I aircraft in Guam, US on January 9, 2024. This deployment marks the Navy's participation in the fourth edition of Exercise Sea Dragon 24, an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise led by the US Navy.

Exercise Sea Dragon 24-Strengthening Regional Cooperation:

Exercise Sea Dragon 24 promotes cooperation and interoperability between the navies of the US, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and India. According to the official statement of the Indian Navy, the exercise aims to refine coordination and communication through professional interactions both on land and in the air.

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Practice Sea Dragon 24-Test of Nautical Skills

This exercise helps various aircraft to track simulated and live underwater targets through their movement. This allows participating countries to exchange expertise and enhance their ASW capabilities. Apart from the Indian Navy's P8Is, other aircraft featured in Exercise Sea Dragon 24 include:

  • US Navy: P8A
  • Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force: P1
  • Royal Canadian Air Force: CP-140
  • Republic of Korea Navy: P3C

Exercise Sea Dragon 24 – building on cooperation

This participation in Exercise Sea Dragon 24 comes after the Indian Navy's participation in the La Perouse multilateral cooperation exercise hosted by France in March 2023. This Bay of Bengal exercise brought together seven countries including India, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, US and UK to strengthen maritime security and interoperability. The Indian Navy contributed its indigenous guided missile frigate INS Sahyadri and fleet tanker INS Jyoti to La Perouse.

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Practice Sea Dragon 24-Light on Importance

The La Perouse exercise included complex naval operations such as replenishment at sea, surface warfare exercises, anti-air and air-defense exercises, cross-deck helicopter operations and tactical maneuvers. The Indian Navy stressed the importance of such exercises in promoting seamless maritime cooperation between the participating nations.

Practice Sea Dragon 24-Investing Capabilities

India's commitment to maritime preparedness was reaffirmed with the announcement of acquiring six additional P-8I ASW and maritime surveillance aircraft from the US in September 2023, ANI news agency reported. These versatile aircraft play a vital role in conducting surveillance operations in various areas of interest including the high altitude areas of the Ladakh sector. Notably, P-8I aircraft provided critical surveillance during the Doklam crisis, revealing Chinese military buildup along the Sikkim-Bhutan border.

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Exercise Sea Dragon 24 – Outlook for the Future

Indian Navy's participation in Exercise Sea Dragon 24 underlines its proactive approach to strengthening maritime partnerships and refining its ASW capabilities. This ongoing cooperation with major naval powers serves to elevate India's position as a major player in ensuring regional security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. As the nation invests in acquiring advanced technology and actively engages in international exercises, it demonstrates its unwavering commitment to protecting its maritime interests and contributing to a peaceful and prosperous future for the region.

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