Navy completes 3 weeks’ operational readiness test of Western Command

Mumbai: The Indian Navy completed a three-week long ‘Exercise Paschim Leher’ (XPL) to test and revalidate its operational plans and manoeuvres in a hostile maritime scenario on India’s western seaboard, an official said here on Thursday.

During the XPL, defence of India’s valuable offshore assets like oil rigs, escort operations of Indian merchant navy ships, coastal defence and security, besides other related aspects were fully rehearsed.

“The XPL tested the operational readiness of the Western Naval Command, the sword arm of the Indian Navy, and the execution of its operational, logistics and administrative plans,” said an official.

During the XPL, over 40 naval assets including the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, several frontline ships of the Western Fleet and Eastern Fleet, submarines, including the newly-inducted Kolkata Class, potent missile vessels of the 22nd Killer Squadron, Patrol Vessels and craft of the Local Flotilla, and Indian Coast Guard took part in the exercises.

The exercises also witnessed intense flying activity by assets like the carrier borne MIG29 Ks, P-81s, IL-38SDs, Dorniers and Remotely Piloted Aircraft.

It saw the enhanced participation by the aircraft of the Indian Air Force with coordinated flying missions conducted with the Indian Navy’s air assets at the XPL.

Maritime role Jaguars, Su-30KMI, AWACS, Flight Refuellers and others participated in large numbers from different airfields of Maharashtra, Gujarat and north India.

The XPL saw an amphibious landing which included the participation of the 91 Infantary Brigade of the Indian Army.