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In a major display of international cooperation, warships from the United States, Russia, and Iran will join India in the upcoming ‘Milan 2024’ naval exercise, marking a significant development for the event. Held from February 19 to 27 in Visakhapatnam, the exercise will witness a diverse range of 51 participating nations, 35 warships and submarines, and 50 aircraft.

The two-phase exercise, encompassing both harbor and sea phases, aims to promote maritime cooperation and security. Fifteen countries, including Japan, Australia, and France, will contribute ships or planes, while India will deploy its full naval might, including both aircraft carriers, INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant.

While the US, Russia, and Iran will operate within separate teams during the sea phase, their presence underscores India’s ability to bridge diplomatic divides. Notably, the US has imposed sanctions on both Russia and Iran, highlighting the complexity of international relations.

Beyond showcasing military prowess, ‘Milan 2024’ will tackle pressing maritime security challenges. Discussions during the harbor phase will focus on piracy in the Gulf of Aden and attacks by Yemen-based Houthi rebels, issues impacting global trade. Participation from Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen, and Eritrea, countries bordering the crucial Bab-el-Mandeb strait, signifies the exercise’s focus on regional concerns.

With its diverse lineup and focus on critical maritime issues, ‘Milan 2024’ promises to be a key platform for international cooperation and a testament to India’s growing influence in the global maritime arena.