Objective behind JIMEX exercise was to enable the two navies to further strengthen their already wide-ranging strategic partnership

India and Japan on Friday concluded their three-day (October 6-8) maritime exercise ‘JIMEX’ in the Arabian Sea.

It was a the 5th edition of maritime exercise which saw the ships and aircraft of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and Indian Navy (IN) engaging in a high tempo of operations focused on air, surface and sub-surface dimensions of maritime operations as well as the air domain, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement issued on Friday.

The Indian Navy under the command of RAdm Ajay Kochhar, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, is participating with indigenous Guided Missile Destroyer, INS Kochi (with Sea King MK 42B helicopter) and the Guided Missile Frigate INS Teg (with SAR capable Chetak helicopter).

The Indian Navy also fielded a P8I, a shore-based maritime reconnaissance aircraft, and MiG 29K fighters.

The JMSDF was led by RAdm IkeuchiIzuru, Commander, Escort Flotilla Three comprising of the Izumo Class Helicopter Carrier Kaga and the Guided Missile Destroyer Murasame. Both ships were participating with integral SH60K helicopters.

Setting the operational tempo from the start, the units exercised War at Sea scenario with P8I (IN) providing maritime reconnaissance support to both navies.

The units practiced replenishment at sea approaches and undertook fuel rig connect-up between Kaga and Kochi.

The exercise also involved complex over the horizon targeting exercises and surface gun shoots on an expendable target.

An advanced coordinated anti-submarine exercise, involving an underwater target deployed by JMSDF saw surface units and Indian Navy’ P8I aircraft exercising with seamless coordination.

Flag Officers of the two forces also met on the Flight Decks of Kochi and Kaga during flying operations, in keeping with the true spirit of military friendship.

The Air Domain operations included advanced anti-aircraft firing exercises on Expendable Aerial Target launched from the deck of INS Kochi and ship controlled Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat drills by Indian Navy’s MiG 29K fighters.

The exercise involved a high tempo of flying operations with MiG 29K fighters coming in for multiple simulated air strikes on surface units, shepherded by Indian Navy’s Maritime Patrol Aircraft, Dornier.

The inclement weather could do little to hold back Indian Navy and JMSDF helicopters from undertaking cross-deck landings, showcasing a high level of interoperability.

The precision, coordination and the high level of interoperability reflected not only the high standards of professionalism and preparedness the two navies maintain to counter threats at sea, but also the high level of trust and understanding that they have built over the years.

The complex maritime exercises undertaken will enable the two navies to further strengthen their already wide-ranging strategic partnership and, when required, to jointly safeguard their maritime interests and ensure peace, security and stability in the region, the Ministry of Defence said.