The exercise will test the capabilities of participating aircraft in tracking simulated and live underwater targets
A P8I aircraft of the Indian Navy is in Guam, USA to participate in ‘Exercise Sea Dragon 23’. The third edition of the coordinated multi-lateral Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise for Long Range MR ASW aircraft is being conducted by the US Navy from March 15-30.

Exercise Sea Dragon 23 would stress on coordinated anti-submarine warfare amongst the participating countries, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday. The complexity and scope of these exercises has increased steadily over the past years to include advanced ASW drills, the ministry added.

Exercise 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 Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN).

Speaking of P8I, it is a multi-mission, long-range maritime patrol aircraft produced by Boeing for the the Indian Navy. It took the place of the Indian Navy's ageing Tupolev Tu-142 fleet.

The P-8I plane is a variation of the US Navy's P-8A Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft (MMA). Its purpose was to safeguard India's coastline and exclusive economic zone. It is capable of conducting maritime patrol, intelligence, anti-surface warfare (ASW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and observation and reconnaissance duties.

“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,” the Ministry of Defence pointed out.

The Indian Navy takes active part in multilateral and bilateral exercises held in different regions of the world.

Earlier this week, the Indian Navy had joined the Royal Australian Navy, French Navy, Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force, Royal Navy and the United States Navy during Exercise La Perouse held in the Indian Ocean Region on March 13-14. Indigenously built guided missile frigate INS Sahyadri and fleet tanker INS Jyoti participated in this edition of the exercise.

The exercise was aimed at enhancing maritime domain awareness and optimising maritime coordination amongst the participating navies in the Indo-Pacific Region.

The two-day exercise provided an opportunity for like-minded navies to develop closer links in planning, coordination and information sharing for seamless maritime operations. The exercise witnessed complex and advanced naval operations including surface warfare, anti-air warfare, air defence exercises, cross deck landings and tactical manoeuvres, the Ministry of Defence said.

On March 11, the INS Sahyadri exercised with the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ship JS Suzutsuki, an Akizuki Class Destroyer in the Arabian Sea.