New Delhi : Amid increasing Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean region, the Indian Navy has conducted a large scale fleet exercise on the eastern seaboard, which included the nuclear submarine Chakra as well as units from India’s strategic Andaman and Nicobar Command.

The exercise has been conducted to maintain high levels of combat readiness and counter emerging threats, the Indian Navy said in a statement.

The exercises were conducted across a vast geographical area, extending from the Northern Bay of Bengal to the Andaman Sea.

As many as 24 ships, two submarines and over 10 aircraft participated in the exercise, which included the nuclear submarine Chakra as well as units from the Andaman and Nicobar Command.

A ship from the Western Naval Command, with the Kamov 31 Air Early Warning helicopter, was also deployed for the exercise.

With a view to hone war fighting skills and concepts, various aspects of maritime warfare were dove-tailed into the exercise, over a period of two weeks.

A wide range of weapons, including Surface to Surface Missiles, Surface to Air Missiles and Land Attack Missiles were fired from various platforms.

The Hawk Fighter aircraft and P8I Long Range Maritime reconnaissance aircraft were also integrated into the exercise.

Over the past few years, there have been increased sightings of Chinese submarines in the region. Though the Chinese claim to have­ deployed them as part of their anti-piracy task force, Indian security establishment have been sceptically about the claims. – PTI

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