The Press Information Bureau in a release stated that a P8I aircraft of the Indian Navy arrived at Guam, USA on 14 Mar 23 to participate in ‘Exercise Sea Dragon 23’, the third edition of the coordinated multi-lateral ASW exercise for Long Range MR ASW aircraft, conducted by the US Navy. The exercise scheduled from 15-30 Mar 23, would stress on coordinated anti-submarine warfare amongst the participating countries.
The complexity and scope of these exercises has increased steadily over the past years to include advanced ASW drills. Ex Sea Dragon 23 will test the capabilities of participating aircraft in tracking simulated and live underwater targets, whilst also sharing mutual expertise.
The Exercise would witness representation by an Indian Navy P8I, along with 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 RoKN.
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.
Exercise Sea Dragon, primarily centers on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training and excellence to include in-flight training; ranging from tracking simulated targets to the final problem of tracking a live US Navy submarine. 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.
Each event will be graded, and the nation scoring the highest total points will receive the coveted Dragon Belt award.
270 hours of in-flight training ranging from tracking simulated targets to the final problem of tracking a U.S. Navy submarine.
Thus an assessment at the end of the exercise on performance of the Indian Navy’s surveillance capability against missiles will be available.
With China having a flotilla of almost 60 submarines with at least 4 to 6 nuclear powered and Pakistan too featuring AIP powered craft the importance of submarine surveillance for the Indian Navy has increased