Visakhapatnam, January 18, 2024: In a strategic move to bolster its naval capabilities, the Indian Navy has announced the deployment of its formidable aircraft carriers, INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant, on the Eastern Seaboard off Visakhapatnam during the upcoming MILAN-2024 exercise. The port city is set to host the international naval exercise from February 19 to February 27, 2024, under the auspices of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of the Indian Navy.
Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, Flag-Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) ENC, disclosed that MILAN-2024 is expected to draw participation from nearly 50 friendly countries, featuring delegations and 20 foreign warships, along with one maritime patrol aircraft. The naval exercise is poised to be the largest multilateral military war game hosted by India, showcasing the nation’s commitment to fostering international cooperation in maritime security.
Addressing concerns about the increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Vice Admiral Pendharkar emphasized that while China may have legitimate economic reasons, the Indian Navy remains vigilant, closely monitoring the activities of extra-regional forces in the region. MILAN-2024 will be crucial in demonstrating India’s preparedness and collaborative efforts to ensure maritime stability.
The MILAN-2024 agenda encompasses diverse programs, including an international maritime seminar, tabletop exercises, a demonstration of the Indian Navy’s deep submergence rescue vessel, multilateral sea exercises, a city parade, and various social and cultural events. The joint drills will underscore the Indian Navy’s expanding role in the Indian Ocean Region as a first responder and preferred security partner.
MILAN-2022, held in Visakhapatnam from February 25 to March 4, 2022, witnessed participation from 40 countries. Building upon this success, MILAN-2024 features large-force maneuvers, advanced air defense operations, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface drills. The exercise aims to strengthen naval interoperability, foster diplomatic ties, and enhance the collective capability of the participating nations in addressing maritime challenges.
As the international community turns its focus to Visakhapatnam in February, MILAN-2024 stands as a testament to India’s commitment to maintaining a secure and stable Indian Ocean Region through collaborative efforts and strategic partnerships.