Indian Navy to host largest-ever multilateral exercise Milan in February 2024
The 12th edition will involve the participation of 50 friendly nations, with over 20 warships from foreign countries. The exercise, conducted under the Eastern Naval Command, aims to enhance the Indian Navy's capacity as a first responder and Preferred Security Partner in the Indian Ocean Region
The Indian Navy will be hosting its largest-ever multilateral exercise Milan from February 19 in the Bay of Bengal under the aegis of its Eastern Naval Command headquartered at Visakhapatnam. The 12th edition of Exercise Milan which will culminate on February 27 will see the participation of 50 friendly nations. Sources in the Indian Navy said: “Over 20 warships from friendly foreign countries will be part of the exercise. Our navy will deploy the same number of ships besides other platforms, including aircraft carriers.”
It is being seen as a significant expansion of the Indian Navy’s engagements and capacity to assist countries in the Indian Ocean Region as the first responder and Preferred Security Partner. The eight-day exercise would be conducted in two phases, including harbour and sea phases.
In the sea phase, the warships will focus on a variety of high-end tactical training, manoeuvring drills, air-defence exercises, submarine familiarisation, multinational replenishment-at-sea, communications drills, gunnery exercises, and joint war-fighting scenarios.
An official said that the final planning conference of the multinational exercise Milan-2024 was held at Visakhapatnam in a hybrid mode which was a combination of in-person and Video Conference attendance. Eastern Naval Command’s Chief Staff Officer (Operations) chaired the conference which was attended by all participating navies.
Milan is a biennial exercise and the previous edition saw the participation of 40 navies, including the US, the UK, Japan, Australia, France, South Korea, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia among others. In 2020, the US Navy had participated for the first time with its Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA).
The first Exercise Milan was held in 1995 with four navies and since then it has been conducted every two years. The 2020 edition was cancelled alluded to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.