The Indian Navy will kick-start the second edition of mega defence exercise, Sea Vigil, on Tuesday. The two-day exercise will cover the country's 13 coastal states and Union Territories along with other maritime stakeholders, officials said.
"The scale and conceptual expanse of the exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units participating and the objectives to be met," said Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal.
The biennial pan-India coastal defence exercise, inaugural edition of which was conducted in January 2019, will be undertaken along the entire 7,516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
Sea Vigil is meant to check the efficacy of safety procedures put in place after the 26/11 terror attack, when terrorists had entered Mumbai via the sea route.
"The exercise aims to assess India's maritime security and coastal defence preparedness. It will give a realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses, and will help in strengthening our national security," the Indian Navy said in an official statement released on Monday.
"The entire coastal security set up was reorganized after the 26/11 attack at Mumbai, which was launched via the sea route. The scale and conceptual expanse of Sea Vigil this year is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent, the number of stakeholders involved, the number of units participating and in terms of the objectives to be met," said Commander Madhwal.
The Sea Vigil exercise is a build up towards the major combat exercise TROPEX (theatre-level readiness operational exercise), which will see the country's western and eastern fleets in high-voltage sea manoeuvers in end-January and early-February.
"Sea Vigil and TROPEX together will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, including transition from peace to conflict," said the Navy spokesperson on Monday.
It will see participation of scores of warships, ships, patrol vessels, aircraft and helicopters from the Navy, Coast Guard, Customs and other maritime agencies, with the ministries of defence, home affairs, shipping, petroleum and fisheries being all involved along with state governments.
"While smaller scale exercises are conducted in coastal states regularly, including combined exercises amongst adjoining states, the conduct of a security exercise at national-level is aimed to serve a larger purpose," said Madhwal.
The security exercise is being facilitated by the ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Fisheries, Customs, state governments and other central and state agencies.
With inputs from agencies