Canada among 51 nations to join 9-day Navy drill ‘Milan’ beginning Feb 19

The French Navy will come with an aircraft, Sobti said.
Canada Flag
Canada Flag Photo | AFP

NEW DELHI: Even as India and Canada grapple with their deteriorating diplomatic relations, the Justin Trudeau government will send its naval delegation headed by a commander for the nine-day multinational maritime exercise ‘Milan 2024’ to be held off the Visakhapatnam coast from February 19.

Indian Navy’s Deputy Chief Vice-Admiral Tarun Sobti on Wednesday said Milan 2024 is a major endeavour to get together friendly foreign countries from across the globe for a major maritime activity. He said 51 countries will participate in the event.

While delegation-level participation is confirmed from more than 30 countries, 15 others are sending their warships for the exercise. The French Navy will come with an aircraft, Sobti said.

From the Indian side, nearly 20 ships, including aircraft carriers Vikrant and Vikramaditya, and nearly 50 aircraft will participate in the exercise.

Eastern Naval Command Chief of Staff Officer (Operations) Rear Admiral Shantanu Jha said the exercise will be held in two phases involving harbour and sea. The harbour phase will be conducted from February 19-23 and the participants would exchange expertise on subject matters. They will also witness the deep submergence rescue vehicle demonstration and also hold bilateral meetings.

“The sea phase will be held from February 24-27 in the Bay Bengal with participation of 35 warships and submarines with 50 aircraft,” Jha said.

The exercise holds significance in the backdrop of major geopolitical tensions along with drone attacks and hijack incidents in Red Sea.

“The exercise will witness a series of events, including an international maritime exposition, a maritime technical exhibition, a city parade, and interactions with junior officers,” Sobti said.

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The New Indian Express