Indian Navy’s Sea Vigil-21: To ensure maritime security and keep the vast coastline safe

By: |
January 11, 2021 7:31 PM

For the maritime security and Coastal Defence, the DAC has already given approval for the induction of Next-Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (Long Range) or, NGMMCB.

There will be simulated attacks on vital installations and assets along the coastline.There will be simulated attacks on vital installations and assets along the coastline. (Images by Indian Navy )

Two day Ex-Sea Vigil will be conducted along the entire 7516 km coastline and Exclusive Economic Zone of India. Starting Jan 12-13, 2020, the exercise which is being coordinated by the Indian Navy will be involving all the 13 coastal States and Union Territories, other maritime stakeholders, and this includes the fishing and coastal communities.

Post 26/11 Terror attack at Mumbai, which was launched via the sea route, the entire coastal security set up was reorganized.

More about Pan-India ‘Sea Vigil-21’

The number of units participating and in terms of the objectives to be met, the scale and the conceptual expanse of the biennial exercise is unprecedented in terms of the geographical extent.

This exercise is a build-up towards the major Theatre level exercise TROPEX [Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercise], conducted by the Indian Navy every two years.

Both TROPEX and Sea Vigil will cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges, including the transition from peace to conflict.

Assets

All the assets of the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Customs and other maritime agencies will be participating in SEA VIGIL.

The conduct of Sea Vigil is also being facilitated by major ministries including of Defence, Home Affairs, Fisheries, Customs, Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas, State Governments and other agencies of Centre/ State.

Importance of Sea Vigil

This exercise which is being conducted for the second time is expected to provide a realistic assessment of strengths and weaknesses in coastal security. And at the end of the drill, there will be an analysis of the findings and actions will be initiated for further strengthening maritime and national security.

Several smaller scale exercises are conducted in coastal states on regular basis and these include the combined exercises amongst adjoining states.

When an exercise is conducted at a national level it helps in assessing the preparedness in the maritime security and coastal defence.

After more than 10 years since the attack, the first edition of Ex Sea Vigil was conducted in 2019, where all agencies which were associated in the coastal security had participated. It had the participation of the Indian Navy submarines, all operational ships, as well there were units of Indian Coast Guard, the Indian Air Force & the Army.

How will the drill be conducted?

There will be simulated attacks on vital installations and assets along the coastline. Also, a wide range of contingencies are planned and this will help in assessing the response, coordination and information sharing between agencies.

There will be multi-agency teams deployed in coastal districts which will be undertaking security audit of different vulnerable locations like Fish Landing Centers, and also major, minor and intermediate ports, lighthouses, coastal police stations, control rooms and operations centres.

Mobile Coastal Batteries

For the maritime security and Coastal Defence, the DAC has already given approval for the induction of Next-Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (Long Range) or, NGMMCB.

Also Read| Safeguarding Indian coastline: Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries to provide security net

These units will be equipped with supersonic BrahMos anti-ship missiles and will operate as a cluster of Surface to Surface missile (SSM) complex along with a Command & Guidance mobile unit.

How do these help?

They help directly in enhancing the Coastal defence capabilities of the navy’s existing Mobile Missile Coastal Battery (MMCB) Squadrons, which carry an older version of SSMs.

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