In a historic moment, the Indian Navy’s INS Sumedha arrived at Port Alexandria, Egypt, on September 6 to participate in ‘Exercise BRIGHT STAR- 23’, marking a significant step in strengthening international defence cooperation.
Exercise BRIGHT STAR-23, a biennial multilateral tri-service exercise, is being conducted at Cairo (West) Air Base, Egypt, from August 27 to September 16, 2023. ‘Exercise BRIGHT STAR-23’ is the largest-ever joint military exercise in the Middle East and North Africa region, with the participation of 34 countries.
The exercise is divided into two phases. The Harbour Phase involves wide-ranging activities such as cross-deck visits, professional exchanges, sports fixtures, and interactions for the planning and conduct of the Sea Phase. The Sea Phase will include complex and high intensity exercises encompassing cross deck flying, anti-surface and anti-air exercises including live weapon firing drills.
In coomand of Commander MC Chandeep, INS Sumedha is a formidable platform capable of undertaking various operational missions. It boasts long endurance, is equipped with the requisite weapons and sensors, and is capable of embarking an integral helicopter. It is the third ship of the indigenously built Saryu class Naval Offshore Patrol Vessels (NOPV) and is testimony to the capabilities of the Indian shipbuilding industry, which underscores the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
With the INS Sumedha’s presence in this multinational exercise, India reaffirms its dedication to fostering regional and global security cooperation. The exercise not only bolsters military ties but also strengthens diplomatic relations.
The IAF’s involvement in international exercises is not merely a display of military capabilities in fact, such exercises are instrumental in strengthening diplomatic relations. As the statement released by the Defence Ministry also said, “IAF contingents to flying exercises abroad are no less than Diplomats in Flight Suits.”
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said, “The objective of the exercise is to practice planning and execution of joint operations. Besides leading to the formation of bonding across borders, such interactions also provide a means to further strategic relations between participating nations.”