Military Exercises of India – List of Recent Indian Military Exercises 2023

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Military exercises of India are a technique for training or performing drills of military operations, testing the quickness and real-time capabilities of warfare, and implementing strategies without actually engaging in combat. Indian military exercises or Defence exercises involving two or more nations are a measure to test the performance of the armed forces without engaging in the battlefield. The Defence exercises involve all three forces, Army, Navy, and Airforce.

Some of the recent military exercises of India 2023 are Harimau Shakti, Yudh Abhyas exercise, Exercise Pitch Black, Khanjar and more. Check the list of all Indian military exercises below.

Military Exercises of India

Military exercises in India are a method of testing the performance of the armed forces without putting them to the test on the battlefield. Military exercises are divided into three main categories:

  1. Domestic Exercise
  2. Bilateral Exercise
  3. Multilateral Exercise

Military Exercises of India 2023 PDF

Indian military exercises have become an essential component of armed forces worldwide. They serve various functions:

  • It teaches soldiers how to act, think, and collaborate in times of conflict.
  • Defence exercises of India demonstrate one’s power and might to other countries worldwide.
  • It also improves coordination and cooperation among the world’s friendly militaries.
  • It allows you to put weapons and devices through their paces.
  • Natural Disaster & Humanitarian Relief Training.

Military Exercises of India 2023

India conducts various military exercises to enhance its defense capabilities, promote interoperability with friendly nations, and strengthen its preparedness for different security challenges. Here are some recent military exercises conducted by India:

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

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

Maiden IONS Maritime Exercise (IMEX-22) in Goa and the Arabian Sea

  • The First edition of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium Maritime Exercise (IMEX-22) concluded in Goa and in the Arabian Sea from 26 to 30 March 2022.
  • Purpose: To enhance the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations interface of member nations’ navies.

India- Seychelles Joint Military Exercise Lamitiye

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

India and Japan joint military exercise “Dharma Guardian 2022” in Karnataka

  • India and Japan conducted a joint military exercise titled ‘Dharma Guardian’ at Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre in Belgaum, Karnataka.
  • It was 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.

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

  • It was conducted at Yangiarik, Uzbekistan.
  • The 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.

Western naval command conducts offshore security exercise Prasthan

  • It was conducted in Mumbai on 23 March 2022.
  • The exercise is conducted bi-annually to ensure offshore security, which aims to integrate the 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.

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 interoperability between the Armed Forces of both nations in terms of understanding transnational terrorism on land and at sea, conducting Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Operations.
  • It was first introduced in 2008.

PANEX-21 exercise

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

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

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

Biennial trilateral exercise ‘Dosti’ underway for IOR stability

  • The 15th edition of 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, ICGS Apoorva, and Sri Lanka Coast Guard’s SLCGS Suraksha participated in the exercise.
  • Aim to strengthen friendship, and enhance mutual operational capabilities, interoperability, and cooperation.

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.

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.

List of Joint Military Exercises of India 2023

Some important military exercises of India 2023 that took place recently are given below along with the participating countries.

  • SLINEX 21 between Sri Lanka and India
  • Khaan Quest 2022 between Mongolia and India
  • Gagan Strike between Indian Army and Indian Air Force
  • Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) between India and Bangladesh
  • NATO Exercise – Defender Europe (DE22) and Swift Response 2022 (SR22) between Between Allies and Partners of the United States (US) and NATO
  • VINBAX 2022 between Vietnam and India
  • LAMITIYE 2022 between India and Seychelles
  • Eastern Bridge-VI (Air Force Exercise) between India and Oman
  • Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) between 26 Countries including India
  • Vajra Prahar 2022 between India and USA
  • VARUNA 2022 (Naval Exercise) between India and France
  • Yudh Abhyas 2022 between India and the USA
  • Sampriti-X between India and Bangladesh
  • Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) between Japan and India
  • JIMEX 2022 between India and Japan
  • Bongosagar 2022 between India and Bangladesh
  • Vostok 2022 between India and Russia
  • Exercise Dustlik (ExDustlik) 2022 between India and Uzbekistan
  • Exercise Khanjar 2022 between India and Kyrgyzstan
  • Pitch Black 2022 between India and Australia
  • Dharma Guardian 2022 between India and Japan

Defence Exercises of India

They are intended to improve internal engagement among various departments. Depending on the nature and application, they can be inter-services or intra-services. Details of all military exercises of India are given below.

Exercise Desert Flag-VI

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) took part in the multinational exercise ‘Ex Desert Flag-VI’.
  • The exercise was conducted at Al Dhafra air base in the UAE from March 3rd to March 27th 2021.
  • The United Arab Emirates Air Force hosted Exercise Desert Flag.
  • The following countries also participate in the exercise: France, the United States (US), South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.
  • Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, and Egypt observed the exercise.

Exercise Sampriti-IX

  • The ‘SAMPRITI-IX’ joint military training exercise between India and Bangladesh was held in Umroi, Meghalaya, from the 3rd to the 16th of February, 2020.
  • The exercise aims to construct, strengthen, and promote positive relationships between the Armies of India and Bangladesh.
  • Both countries alternate hosting the exercise.
  • Tangail in Bangladesh hosted the eighth edition of the exercise.

Exercise Indradhanush

  • The Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom and the Indian Air Force conduct a joint air force exercise known as Exercise Indradhanush. The exercise aims to improve mutual operational understanding between the two air forces through close interaction. The exercise began in the year 2006 and has since had five editions.
  • The 5th edition of Exercise Indra Dhanush 2020 began on February 24th. A joint air force exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Royal Air Forces of the United Kingdom (RAF) has begun at Air Force Station Hindan in Uttar Pradesh.
  • During the exercise, both air force components will share and validate strategies and tactics for dealing with terrorist threats to their installations.
  • Both forces will also take on a variety of missions, such as airfield seizure, base defence, and anti-terror operations in the urban built-up zones.

Exercise Ajeya Warrior

  • A joint military exercise between India’s & UK’s soldiers. In 2013, the first military training took place. The Ajeya Warrior exercise was held for the second and third time in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
  • The Ajeya Warrior 2021 is the most recent edition, which will take place in Chaubatia, Uttarakhand, in October 2021. The previous (fifth) edition was held in the United Kingdom in 2020.
  • The Exercise’s Goal:
    • Each army’s soldiers are trained in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.
    • In order to strengthen strategic ties between India and the United Kingdom.
    • The purpose of joint military training is to gain operational experience.

Exercise MILAN

  • India has invited 46 friendly foreign nations to the multinational naval exercise Milan, which will take place in Visakhapatnam beginning 25th February 2022. This year’s theme for Exercise Milan is camaraderie, cohesion, and collaboration. This exercise began in 1995 and is now held biennially with friendly navies.
  • The professional competitions and conferences planned during this phase will set the operational tone for the Sea Phase, which will take place from 1st to 4th March 2022. This Phase would be used to consolidate the lessons learned during harbour interactions and to expand on the experience of working together at sea.
  • Russia, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Israel, Iran, Japan, France, South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries that have been invited to participate.
  • According to an official, India has increased its bilateral, trilateral, and multilateral naval engagements with friendly nations since 2018.

Exercise Eastern Bridge

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) is taking part in the joint bilateral exercise EX EASTERN BRIDGE V alongside the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO).
  • The most recent version of the exercise was held in 2019 at the Air Force Base Masirah in Oman.
  • The Indian Air Force’s contingent consists of MiG-29 and C-17 aircraft. The MIG-29 fighter aircraft participated in an international exercise outside of India for the first time in 2019.
  • The most recent EX EASTERN BRIDGE-IV exercise took place in Jamnagar, India, in 2017.

Domestic Defence Exercises

They are intended to improve internal engagement among various departments. Depending on the nature and application, they can be inter-services or intra-services.

Exercise Gandiv Vijay

  • Chetak Corps of the Indian Army’s South Western Command conducted the military exercise Gandiv Vijay in Rajasthan’s Mahajan field firing ranges.
  • The exercise lasted two months and ended on 23rd May 2018 to validate Chetak Corps’ operational plans.
  • Gandiv Vijay Military Workout: The central role was the focus of the Gandiv Vijay military exercise.

Exercise Vajra Prahar

  • In March 2021, the Special Forces of India and the United States of America conducted the joint military exercise ‘VAJRA PRAHAR 2021’ in Himachal Pradesh.
  • This was the 11th edition of the exercise, which was held at the Special Forces Training School in Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh. The 10th edition of VAJRA PRAHAR was held in Seattle, USA, in 2019.
  • The joint exercise by both countries’ Special Forces is alternately held in India and the United States.
  • Special Forces are specialized units of a country’s armed forces that conduct covert, counter-terrorist, and other operations.
  • Aim: To share best practices and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning and operational tactics, as well as to improve interoperability among both nations’ Special Forces.

Exercise Paschim Lehar (XPL-2022)

  • The Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command completed the joint maritime exercise Paschim Lehar (XPL-2022) off the West Coast.
  • The exercise lasted 20 days and was designed to improve inter-service synergy among the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, and Coast Guard.
  • The Western Naval Command (HQ- Mumbai) is one of the Indian Navy’s three command-level formations. Eastern Naval Command (HQ- Visakhapatnam) and Southern Naval Command are the other two (HQ- Kochi).
  • During the exercise, various weapon firings in a realistic tactical scenario, as well as the validation of operational missions and tasks in varying settings, were carried out.
  • The exercise allowed all participating forces to work together under realistic conditions in responding to contemporary maritime challenges across the Command’s domains of responsibility.

Exercise Vayu Shakti

  • On 5th March 2022, the Indian Air Force’s largest war exercise, Vayushakti-2022, will be held at the Pokhran field firing range. The drill will involve approximately 140 planes, including 100 fighter planes. Previously, the exercise was scheduled for 10th February 2022.
  • Exercise Vayu Shakti-2019, a mega exercise involving 140 fighter jets and attack helicopters in a firepower demonstration, was held near the border with Pakistan in Pokhran, Rajasthan.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) demonstrated the firepower capability of indigenously developed platforms such as the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and the efficacy of the Akash surface-to-air missile and the Astra air-to-air missile.
  • The ALH and the Akash were used in a military exercise for the first time.
  • This military exercise involved 137 aircraft, including Mirage 2000s, Mig-27, IL78, Mig-29, Sukhoi-30s, Hercules, Jaguars, Mig-21 Bison, and AN-32s.

Bilateral Military Exercises of India

Some Indian Army Bilateral Exercises of India are given below.

Exercise Hand-in-Hand

  • It is a military exercise conducted jointly by the Indian and Chinese armies.
  • The most recent Hand-in-Hand exercise took place in 2019 from the 7th to the 20th of December at Umroi (Meghalaya).
  • The Hand-in-Hand exercise’s goal is to:
    • Practising collaborative planning
    • Counter-terrorism exercises are being carried out.
    • Hold training exercises in semi-urban areas.
  • Hand-in-Hand exercises include the following activities:
    • Lectures
    • Drills for dealing with counter-terrorism operations
    • Firearms instruction
    • Specialized Helicopter Operations
    • Case studies of various other military operations conducted in a counter-terrorism context

Exercise Surya Kiran

  • The 15th India-Nepal Joint Military Training Exercise, dubbed ‘Surya Kiran,’ took place on 20th September 2021. It took place in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand.
  • The main goal of the exercise is to conduct counter-terror drills and disaster relief operations.
  • The exercise will also improve interoperability between India’s and Nepal’s militaries.
  • Both nations’ infantry battalions will conduct training to share expertise in counter-terrorism disaster relief operations and to improve interoperability.

Exercise Sampriti

  • The Sampriti Exercise is a bilateral defence cooperation exercise between India and Bangladesh’s armies. It is regarded as a component of Indo-Bangladesh defence cooperation. Sampriti has nine editions, the most recent being Sampriti-IX, which took place in Meghalaya from February 3 to February 16, 2020.
  • Both countries alternate hosting the Sampriti exercise. In 2019, it was held in Bangladesh, and in 2020, it was held in India.
  • Command Post Exercise (CPX) and Field Training Exercise (FTX) was held in Sampriti-IX.
  • The Sampriti exercise includes training and exercises set in such simulated environments as defined by the UN Charter.

Exercise Mitra Shakti

  • The Mitra Shakti exercise is a bilateral joint military exercise between Indian and Sri Lankan armies. The exercise is also known as the Joint Training Exercise. Mitra Shakti-VIII, the most recent edition of the Mitra Shakti exercise, took place in Sri Lanka from October 4th to October 16th, 2021.
  • The following are the objectives of this bilateral exercise:
    • To encourage defence cooperation.
    • To foster goodwill between the Indian and Sri Lankan armies.
  • Mitra Shakti is a training exercise for subunits in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.
  • Under the United Nations (UN) mandate, training for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations is conducted in urban and rural settings.
  • The Mitra Shakti exercise is designed in such a way that it incorporates the dynamics of UN peacekeeping operations.

Exercise Harimau Shakti

  • In November, the sixth edition of the Indo-French Shakti 2021 (bilateral joint training exercise) was held in Frejus, France.
  • It will concentrate on counter-terrorism operations in semi-urban terrain under a United Nations mandate to improve military cooperation and interoperability between the two armies.
  • The biennial exercise between the two countries armies began in 2011.
  • It was alternately held in India and France.
  • The most recent Shakti exercise occurred in Rajasthan in 2019, where “counter-terrorism operations in semi-desert terrain were practised.”

Exercise VINBAX

  • The India-Vietnam Bilateral Army Exercise (VINBAX-2018) was held in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur.
  • The first military exercise between the two countries was VINBAX-2018. The six-day military exercise (from January 29th to February 3rd, 2018) was held as part of the Indian Army’s joint training with friendly foreign countries.
  • VINBAX-2018 was a Table Top Exercise to train for Peace Keeping Operations under the auspices of the United Nations (UN).
  • 15 officers undertook it from the Indian Army and the Vietnam People’s Army. The joint exercise was specifically designed to enable and train Vietnamese officers for UN Peace Keeping Operations. Both armies interacted and shared experiences during the joint exercise.

Exercise Ekuverin

  • The 11th edition of Exercise EKUVERIN-21, a joint exercise between India and the Maldives, was held on Kadhdhoo Island in the Maldives. In the Dhivehi language, Ekuverin means “Friends.” It is the language of Indo-Arya. It is spoken in India, the Lakshadweep Islands, and the Maldives.
  • The exercise improves synergy and interoperability between both nations’ Armed Forces in terms of understanding transnational terrorism on land and at sea, conducting Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency Operations, and sharing best military practices and experiences.
  • Since 2008, India and the Maldives have been conducting the exercise. The exercise was held in Pune, Maharashtra, in 2019 and in the Maldives in 2018.

Exercise CORPAT

  • The Indian Ocean region hosted the 36th CORPAT (Coordinated Patrol) exercise between India & Indonesia.
  • Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both countries took part in the exercise.
  • The 36th edition of COPAT was held in a non-contact, at-sea mode following the COVID-19 pandemic norms.
  • The CORPAT’s goal is to keep the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure regarding commercial shipping, international trade, and maritime activities.
  • The exercise aided in improving and understanding interoperability between navies and, thus, the partnership between the two nations.
  • Since 2002, India and Indonesia have conducted CORPAT along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year.

Exercise Al Nagah

  • The third in the series of bilateral joint exercises between India and Oman is Al Nagah III. It was held in Oman’s Jabel Al Akhdar Mountains from March 12 to March 25, 2019.
  • Both armies exchanged expertise and experience in tactics, weapon handling, and firing during the 14-day exercise.
  • The exercise aims to improve interoperability in counter-terrorism operations in semi-urban mountainous terrain.
  • Al Nagah I took place in Muscat, Oman, in January 2015, and Al Nagah II took place in Himachal Pradesh, India, in March 2017.

Exercise Dharma Guardian

  • Dharma Guardian is a joint military exercise between India and Japan that began in 2018. The armies of both countries carry out the exercise.
  • The most recent edition of this bilateral exercise was Dharma Guardian 2019, which took place in October 2019 at Vairengte, Mizoram, between the Indian and Japanese armies.
  • The first Dharma Guardian exercise was held in 2018 at the Counter Insurgency Warfare School in Vairengte (Mizoram), India, from November 1 to November 14, 2018.
  • The following activities are included in the exercise:
    • Counter-terrorism operations training
    • Counter-terrorism operations are being planned.
    • Implementation of a series of well-planned tactical drills

Exercise Maitree

  • Exercise Maitree began in 2006 as a bilateral exercise between the Indian Army and the Royal Thai Army.
  • It is an annual event between troops from both countries’ armies. It is also known as the Indo-Thailand Joint Exercise.
  • The most recent Maitree Exercise was held in September 2019, from the 16th to the 29th of September.
  • This exercise emphasizes the following:
    • Enhancing interoperability
    • Training
    • Planning
    • Executing a series of well-planned tactical drills for the neutralization of potential threats encountered in urban warfare scenarios
    • Fostering friendship between the two armies

Exercise Prabal Dostyk

  • In August 2021, Kazakhstan hosted the 5th edition of the India-Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise “KAZIND-21.”
  • The exercise is a joint training exercise involving both Indian and Kazakhstani armies.
  • Professional exchange and sharing experiences in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations are all part of the Joint Exercise’s scope.

Exercise Nomadic Elephant

  • It is a joint military exercise between India & Mongolia.
  • The 14th edition of Nomadic Elephant took place in Bakloh Cantonment, Himachal Pradesh, in Oct. 2019.
  • The Mongolian Army was represented by the 084 Airborne-Special Task Battalion in the latest edition of the Nomadic Elephant series (Nomadic Elephant XIV), while the RAJPUTANA RIFLES Regiment battalion represented the Indian Army.
  • Under a United Nations (UN) mandate, the Nomadic Elephant exercise aims to train army troops in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.
  • One of the goals of the Nomadic Elephant exercise is to promote defence cooperation and improve military relations between the two armies.

Exercise LAMITYE

  • Since 2001, India & Seychelles have been conducting a joint exercise to improve military cooperation & interoperability between the two countries armies.
  • Under the United Nations (UN) charter, the ongoing exercise aims to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in a semi-urban environment.
  • The 8th joint military exercise between the Indian Army and the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces was scheduled for Mahe Island, Seychelles, from February 24th to March 4th, 2018.
  • The exercise was dubbed ‘LAMITYE,’ which means ‘friendship’ in the local Creole dialect. This was the eighth in a series of bilateral exercises taking place in the lovely island nation.


  • The Joint Military Training Exercise Bold Kurukshetra is a series of joint military exercises between India & Singapore.
  • The four-day joint training emphasized interoperability and the execution of joint tactical operations in mechanized warfare. The troops learned about each other’s organizations and combat best practices.
  • The 12th edition of BOLD KURUKSHETRA came to a close on April 11th, 2019, at Babina Military Station, with a closing ceremony.

Exercise Khanjar

  • The 8th Indo-Kyrgyz Joint Special Forces Exercise ‘Khanjar’ was launched at the Special Forces Brigade of the Kyrgyz Republic’s National Guards in Bishkek, the host country’s capital.
  • The two-week special operations exercise, which began in 2011, focuses on high-altitude warfare, mountain warfare, and counter-extremism exercises.
  • The Indian contingent for the exercise congratulated them on their role as a bridge in promoting both nations’ shared mountain & nomadic heritage.
  • The occasion was marked by a ceremonial parade, a display of equipment and weapons, and a visit to the training arena and barracks.

Indian Navy Exercises of India with Other Countries

Exercise SLINEX

  • In October 2020, the annual Indian Navy (IN) – Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX-20, the eighth edition (i.e., the latest edition between two countries) took place in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
  • The SLINEX-20 increased interoperability, improved mutual understanding, and allowed both navies to share best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations.
  • The SLINEX exercise series highlights India and Sri Lanka’s deep engagement, strengthening mutual cooperation in the maritime domain.

Exercise INDRA Navy

  • The 12th Edition (i.e., the most recent edition between the two countries) of the Indo-Russia joint maritime exercise INDRA took place in August 2021 in Volgograd, Russia.
  • The exercise involved a joint force conducting counter-terror operations against international terror groups under the auspices of the United Nations.
  • The INDRA series of exercises began in 2003 as a bilateral naval exercise conducted alternately by the two countries. The first joint Tri-Services exercise, however, took place in 2017.
  • The last joint tri-services exercise between India and Russia took place in December 2019 in India. It was held simultaneously in Babina (near Jhansi), Pune, and Goa.

Exercise Konkan

  • The Bilateral Konkan exercise is a naval exercise held by India and the United Kingdom.
  • The Konkan exercise series began in 2004. Since then, both Navies have hosted the exercise in turn, and it has grown in complexity, scale, and intensity.
  • The Indo-UK Naval Exercise ‘Konkan 2021’ was held in the English Channel between INS Tabar and HMS Westminster.

Exercise Varuna

  • The 19th (and most recent) edition of the Indian and French Navy bilateral exercise ‘VARUNA-2021’ was held in the Arabian Sea.
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) took part in the Varuna maritime exercise for the first time.
  • Since 1993, the Indian and French navies have conducted bilateral maritime exercises. These exercises have been known as ‘VARUNA’ since 2001.
  • These interactions highlight the shared values of partner navies in ensuring freedom of the seas as well as the commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.

Exercise Naseem Al Bahr

  • The 12th edition of the bilateral maritime exercise Naseem Al Bahr was held in Mormugao Port, Goa, by India and Oman.
  • Naseem-Al-Bahr (or sea breeze) is a naval exercise conducted by the Indian Navy and the RNO since 1993.
  • This exercise was carried out by Indian Navy ships Beas and Subhadra, as well as Oman Navy ships RNOV Al Rasikh and RNOV Khassab.

Exercise Sahyog HOP TAC

  • The first joint exercise of the Coast Guards of India and Vietnam, “Sahyog HOP TAC -2018,” took place in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • Its goal was to improve the working relationship between coast guards from both navies.
  • The exercise was designed to familiarize coast guards from both countries with each other’s capabilities and strengthen working relationships to save sea life.
  • It included a scenario of an oil tanker hijacking and subsequent crew rescue in a coordinated anti-piracy joint operation, as well as preventive efforts for marine environment protection.


  • It’s a naval exercise between India & Indonesia, who have been conducting CORPAT exercises along their International Maritime Boundary Line twice a year since 2002.
  • The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Khanjar, a Missile Corvette built in India, and a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft conducted a coordinated patrol (CORPAT) with the Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sultan Thaha Syaifuddin, a Kapitan Patimura-Class Corvette.
  • The 37th India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) took place in the Indian Ocean region from November 23rd to 24th, 2021. The 37th edition of CORPAT between India and Indonesia included Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both countries.

Exercise SIMBEX

  • The 28th (latest edition) Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) was held from September 2nd to 4th, 2021. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) hosted the SIMBEX-2021 annual bilateral maritime exercise on the southern rims of the South China Sea.
  • The Indian Navy was represented by the Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvijay, which had a shipborne helicopter, the ASW Corvettes INS Kiltan & INS Kora, as well as one P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
  • The exercise was designed to strengthen bilateral defence ties between the two countries. This year’s SIMBEX is also a special occasion because it takes place during India’s 75th year of independence celebrations.

Exercise IMCOR

  • The most recent Indo-Myanmar coordinated patrol (IMCOR) took place in 2019 from May 20th to May 28th. This was the eighth edition of the India-Myanmar coordinated patrol (CORPAT).
  • The Indian Navy & Myanmar Navy’s coordinated patrol (CORPAT) initiative aims to combat human trafficking, drug trafficking, illegal fishing, terrorism, poaching, and other illegal activities that harm both countries’ interests.
  • The CORPAT series began in March 2013. It has refined professional relationships and mutual understanding between the navy of these two countries for the maritime interface.

Exercise ‘AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2021’

  • The first naval exercise between the Indian Navy & the Royal Saudi Naval Force successfully completed, dubbed ‘AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2021.’
  • The exercise was being held to highlight India & Saudi Arabia’s defence and military cooperation.
  • India is represented by INS Kochi, the flagship destroyer of the Indian Western Naval Fleet, which has arrived in Saudi Arabia’s Port-al-Jubail.
  • This was the first time the two countries had conducted a joint naval exercise.
  • The naval exercise will include a variety of practices, such as shore and sea-based drills.

Indian Air Force Defence Exercise

Exercise Garuda

  • Ex Garuda 2019 (latest edition), a bilateral Indo-French large force employment warfare exercise hosted by the French Air Force (FAF) from 01st to 12th July 2019 at Mont-de-Marsan in France, was completed successfully, with the IAF contingent returning to India on 19th July 2019.
  • Garuda-VI was the year’s largest international air training exercise.
  • The exercise’s goals were to foster closer ties between India & France in order to promote interoperability through knowledge & experience exchange.

Exercise Eastern Bridge

  • ‘EX EASTERN BRIDGE’ is a bilateral joint air force exercise conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO). The most recent edition was ‘EX EASTERN BRIDGE-V,’ which took place on 26th October 2019 at Air Force Base Masirah in Oman.
  • The Indian Air Force’s contingent consists of MiG-29 and C-17 aircraft. The MiG-29 participated in the exercise, as did the Royal Air Force of Oman’s Eurofighter Typhoon, F-16, and Hawk. For the first time, MiG-29 fighter planes took part in an international exercise outside of India.
  • The goal of the exercise is to improve interoperability between the two Air Forces during mutual operations, as well as to provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices. The last bilateral exercise was held in Jamnagar, Gujarat, in 2017.

Exercise SIAM Bharat

  • The Indian Air Force and the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) participated in the Indo-Thailand Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Table Top Exercise 2017 (latest edition) in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in May 2017. This was the second such exercise between the two Air Forces.
  • The goal of the bilateral exercise is to develop SOPs for planning and executing relief missions during natural disasters such as Tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and so on.
  • The goal is to improve interoperability between the two Air Forces while conducting joint air operations in response to a crisis.

Exercise Desert Eagle

  • Desert Eagle II was the second military exercise held in June 2016 between the United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAE AF) and Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • The exercise lasted ten days and involved the IAF and the UAE Air Force conducting air combat exercises from Al-Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi.
  • The IAF Su-30 MKI took part in Desert Eagle-II, along with the UAE Air Force’s Mirage 2000-9 and F-16 block 60. Notably, the Indian Air Force had previously participated in Desert Eagle I in 2008.

Exercise Red Flag

  • The Indian Air Force & United States Air Force holds Exercise Red Flag, a two-week advanced aerial combat training exercise, several times a year.
  • Its goal is to provide realistic air-combat training to military pilots and other flight crew members from the United States and other allies. It was first held in 1975.
  • Each year, four to six Red Flag exercises are held at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, with up to four more held at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska under the banner of Red Flag – Alaska.

Exercise Desert Knight-21

  • Ex Desert Knight-21, a bilateral air exercise between the Indian Air Force and the French Air and Space Force, has begun. It was held at the Jodhpur Air Force Station in Rajasthan.
  • This Ex Desert Knight-21, in particular, includes both sides’ fielding of Rafale aircraft.
  • This exercise demonstrates the growing interaction between India’s and France’s premier air forces.
  • Mirage 2000, Rafale, Su-30 MKI, IL-78 Flight Refueling Aircraft, AWACS, and AEW&C aircraft represented India.
  • The Rafale, the A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft, and the Airbus A-330 Multi Role tanker transport represented France.

Multilateral Indian Military Exercises

Exercise RIMPAC

  • The Rim of the Pacific Exercise, also known as RIMPAC, is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise.
  • RIMPAC is held biennially from Honolulu, Hawaii, in June and July of even-numbered years, except for 2020, when it was held in August.
  • It is hosted and administered by the United States Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command, which is headquartered in Pearl Harbor, in collaboration with the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard forces, all of which are under the command of the Governor of Hawaii.
  • The first RIMPAC was held in 1971, and forces from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States participated (US).
  • Since then, Australia, Canada, and the United States have participated in every RIMPAC.

Exercise Malabar

  • In Malabar Exercise 2021:
    • This was the first joint maritime exercise in the Western Pacific under the Quadrilateral framework, and it appears to be designed to frighten China. The United States was hosting it.
  • Malabar Exercise is a multilateral naval war-gaming exercise that began in 1992. It began as a bilateral exercise between India’s and the United States’ navies.
  • After two more editions of the exercise in 1995 and 1996, there was a break until 2002 in the aftermath of India’s nuclear tests. Since 2002, the exercise has been held every year.
  • Japan and Australia were the first to take part in 2007; since 2014, India, the United States, and Japan have taken part every year.
  • At India’s request, Australia joined the Malabar Exercise in 2020 to contain China in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Malabar 2020 saw the participation of all four Quad members (including India, US, Australia, and Japan) for the first time in over a decade.
  • Its goal is to promote a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific while remaining committed to a rules-based international order.

Exercise MILEX-18

  • In September 2018, the first field training military exercise, MILEX-18, as part of the Bay of Bengal initiative for multi-sectoral technical and economic cooperation (BIMSTEC), began at the Foreign Training Node at Aundh in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • Except for Thailand and Nepal, all BIMSTEC member countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka) actively participated in this exercise.
  • Thailand and Nepal only send their small group in MILEX-18.


  • The Indian military contingent, which consists of an all-arms combined force of 200 personnel, is taking part in Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION -2021, a Joint Counter-Terrorism Exercise between Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states.
  • In September of 2021 (i.e. from 13th to 25th, 2021), Russia hosted the Exercise PEACEFUL MISSION- 2021 in the Orenburg Region of South-West Russia.
  • The sixth edition of the biennial multilateral exercise PEACEFUL MISSION was held in 2021.
  • The exercise aims to strengthen ties between SCO member states and improve military leaders’ abilities to command multi-national military contingents. The exercise will allow the Armed Forces of the SCO nations to share best practices.
  • The exercise will also allow the Armed Forces of the SCO Nations to train in Counter-Terrorism Operations in an urban scenario in a multinational & joint environment.

Exercise Cobra Gold

  • The 40th iteration of Exercise Cobra Gold took place in the Kingdom of Thailand from August 3rd to 13th, 2021.
  • The annual Thai-US co-sponsored military exercise included several virtual and in-person events with service members from seven fully participating nations: the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, as well as observers and additional participants from other nations and organizations throughout the region.
  • In the year 1982, the first Cobra Gold exercise was held.
  • Every year, it is the largest Asia-Pacific military exercise.

Exercise Kakadu:

  • It is a multilateral, regional maritime engagement presented by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and supported by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
  • It was founded in 1993. It is held every two years in Darwin and the Northern Australian Exercise Areas (NAXA).
  • KAKADU 2018 is the fourteenth edition of the exercise, which was held between August 29th and September 18th, 2018. Its goal is to improve interoperability and develop a common understanding of maritime operations procedures.

Exercise ARF DiREx (ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise)

  • The ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF DiREx) is an international disaster drill designed to promote disaster relief cooperation among the ASEAN Regional Forum’s 27 member countries.
  • It takes on large-scale disasters like earthquakes & tsunamis and conducts on-the-job and icon-based drills such as exploration & medical support by mobilizing national military assets.

Sea Dragon 2022

  • India, Australia, Canada, the United States, South Korea, and Japan all participated in the Sea Dragon 22 exercise.
  • It is a multinational exercise.
  • This year’s event will take place at Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base. It is essentially a US-led exercise.
  • The countries that have taken part focus on anti-submarine warfare training.
  • They talk about the traditional maritime security challenges that the Indo-Pacific region faces.
  • They complete more than 270 hours of in-flight training activities, including target tracking.
  • The Dragon Belt award will be given to the country with the highest point total throughout the training process.

Exercise PANEX-21

  • The PANEX-21 is a Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise for BIMSTEC countries.
  • The exercise was held at Pune’s College of Military Engineering.
  • The exercise was in its third year. It is essentially a multinational and multi-agency exercise.
  • The goal of the PANEX-21 was for BIMSTEC countries to collaborate on regional development planning and execution and respond to natural disasters.
Important UPSC Notes:
Cripps Mission Economic Planning
Non Cooperation Movement Kyoto Protocol
NITI Aayog Fundamental Duties of India
Revolt of 1857 Sources of Indian Constitution
Five Year Plan in India President of India
Types of Soil in India Multidimensional Poverty Index
Amendments in Indian Constitution AFSPA UPSC
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