22:35 GMT +324 June 2019
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    Indian Army, Navy and Air Force amphibious exercise (File)

    India Holds Massive Military Exercise Near Chinese Trade Chokepoint

    © AP Photo / Ajit Solanki, File
    Asia & Pacific
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    Amphibious ships, warships, P-8I patrol aircraft and landing docks are the permanent assets at the Andaman Nicobar Island, reflecting India’s attempt to renew its maritime policy and to ensure its dominance is not challenged by China in the Indian Ocean Region.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India has conducted a major military exercise involving all the three services- Army, Navy & Air Force- under the aegis of the Andaman & Nicobar Command, which is few nautical miles away from Strait of Malacca- China's gateway to the Indian Ocean.

    "The main objective of the exercise was to practice & validate the procedures and drills of all the Command forces aimed at defending the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  Accretional forces from the mainland, including fighters, special forces, naval ships and heavy-lift transport aircraft participated in the exercise," India's Ministry of Defense said in a statement after the culmination of five days of exercise that started on 20 November.

    The extensive exercise included all the resources available with the tri-service command- the country's only theatre command. Exercises included fighter operations, night para-jumps at sea, the slithering of troops from helicopters and landings of troops using amphibious ships.

    After the exercise, the Commander-in-Chief of Andaman and Nicobar Command, Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, urged all "to focus on the takeaways from the exercise for being fully prepared for any eventuality in future."

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    India's state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is setting up a land-based long-range missile facility at south Andaman's Rutland Island, approximately 200 kilometer from the Strait of Malacca — the chief transit way for most of China's trade and 80% of its energy shipments.


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