List of Important Defence Exercises of India

By Stuti Mishra|Updated : May 19th, 2022

Important Defence Exercises of India: India conducts various Defence exercises with countries across the globe. In this article, we have come up with the important Defence Exercises asked in the competitive examination. Most of the competitive ask 2-3 questions from Defence exercises every year. So, lets go through the whole article for gaining edge in the General Awareness section of the examination.


Military or Defence exercise involving two or more nations is a measure to test the performance of the armed forces without engaging in the battlefield. Here is a List of important Military/Defence Exercises in India.

Indian Army Joint Exercises


Some of the important military exercises by Indian Army:

Defence Exercise

Countries Involved

Mithra Shakti

India and Sri Lanka.

Exercise Shakti

India and France armies

Exercise Nomadic Elephant

India and Mongolian

Exercise Yuddh Abhyas

Indian and United States Armies

Surya Kiran

India and Nepal


India and Seychelles


Indian and Oman

Ajeya Warrior

India and UK




Australia and India


India and Kyrgyzstan

Mitra Shakti

India & Sri Lanka

Maitree Exercise  

India & Thailand

Vajra Prahar

India & US

Garuda Shakti

India & Indonesia

Dharma Guardian

India & Japan

Ex Ekuveri

India and Maldives

Ex Vajra Prahar

India and US

 Indian Air Force Joint Exercises


Defence Exercise

Countries Involved

“Indradhanush” or “Rainbow”




Avia Indra

India-Russia maiden aerial exercise.

Exercise Red Flag

India and the U.S.

Siam Bharat

Indian Air Force and Royal Thailand Air Force

Desert Eagle

India and UAE

Eastern Bridge


 Indian Navy Joint Exercises


Defence Exercise

Countries Involved


France and India.


Sri Lanka and India


India and Russia

Exercise Malabar

United States, Japan, and India.


India and Singapore


India, Brazil and South Africa


Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Britain


Indian and Australian Navy Bilateral Maritime Exercise


Joint exercise of Coast Guards of India and Japan

Naseem Al Bahr

India and Oman


India- Myanmar


India and Indonesia

Multilateral Exercises

Defence Exercise

Countries involved


Indian Army with 17 African nations


SCO members - China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan


Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and United States


India, Singapore, Thailand Trilateral


USA, Japan & Australia


India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Thailand.


Western Pacific Naval Symposium


Recent Military exercises

1. 20th India-France Bilateral Naval Exercise ‘VARUNA -2022’ in Arabian Sea

  • It was being held from March 30 to 3rd April 2022.
  • It is being held since 1993 and the exercise was christened as ‘VARUNA’ in 2001.

2. Maiden IONS Maritime Exercise 2022 (IMEX-22) in Goa and Arabian Sea

  • First edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Maritime Exercise 2022 (IMEX-22) concluded
  • It was being held from March 26 to 30, 2022 in Goa and in Arabian Sea.
  • Purpose: to enhance interoperability of navies of member nations in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.

3. India- Seychelles Joint Military Exercise Lamitiye 2022 

  • The 9th edition of Lamitiye 2022 has been held at Seychelles Defence Academy, Seychelles.
  • It was a 10 days long exercise
  • Purpose: enhancing interworking to develop the capability to undertake joint operations in a semi-urban environment.

4. India and Japan joint military exercise "Dharma Guardian 2022" in Karnataka

  • India and Japan conducted joint military exercise titled ‘Dharma Guardian 2022’ at Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre in Belgaum, Karnataka.
  • It was being held from 27th February to 10th March 2022.
  • It is participated by 15 Maratha LIRC UNIT and Japan 30 Infantry regiment
  • It covers platoon-level joint training on operations in the jungle and semi-urban and urban terrain. 

5. Third edition of the India-Uzbekistan joint military exercise ‘EX-DUSTLIK’

  • It was being conducted at Yangiarik, Uzbekistan
  • Last edition of DUSTLIK was held in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand in March 2021.
  • Focus: counter-terrorism operations in semi-urban terrain under a United Nations Mandate.

6. Western naval command conducts offshore security exercise Prasthan

  • It was conducted in Mumbai on 23 March 2022.
  • The exercise is conducted biannually to ensure offshore security which aims to integrate efforts of all maritime stakeholders involved in offshore defence.
  • It is led by the Indian Navy and includes Indian Air Force, Coast Guard, ONGC, Mumbai Port Trust, JLN Port Trust, Customs, State Fisheries Department, Mercantile Marine Department, and the Marine Police.

7. 11th edition of Exercise EKUVERIN-21

  • It is being conducted between India and Maldives in Kadhdhoo Island, Maldives.
  • Ekuverin means “Friends” in the Dhivehi language (Indo-Aryan language).
  • It enhances synergy and inter-operability between Armed Forces of both nations in terms of understanding transnational terrorism both on land and at sea, conducting Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Operations
  • It was first introduced in 2008

8. PANEX-21 exercise

  • It is a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise.
  • It is to be held for BIMSTEC countries (Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand).
  • Aim: to build regional cooperation in responding to natural disasters. 

9. The 37th edition of India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT)

  • It was being held in Indian Ocean region (IOR) from 23rd to 24th November 2021.
  • It was conducted for the first time in 2002
  • CORPAT is held twice in a year to ensure safety and security.

10. Biennial trilateral exercise ‘Dosti’ underway for IOR stablility

  • The 15th edition of biennial trilateral exercise ‘Dosti’ by the coast guard forces of Maldives, India and Sri Lanka took place in Maldives from 20th to 24th November
  • ICGS Vajra and ICGS Apoorva, and Sri Lanka Coast Guard’s SLCGS Suraksha participated in the exercise.
  • Aim: to strengthen friendship, enhance mutual operational capabilities, interoperability, cooperation

11. India, Singapore, Thailand Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX 21 held

  • It was held from 15th to 16th November 2021 in the Andaman Sea.
  • It is being hosted by Royal Thai Navy (RTN) to enhance the cooperation between the participating navies towards augmenting the overall maritime security in the region

12. India and France to hold 6th edition Exercise SHAKTI 2021

  • It will be conducted from 15th to 26th November 2021 in Frejus, France.
  • Focus: Counter Terrorism operations, military cooperation and inter-operability between two Armies. 


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