Malabar exercise to start from Tuesday in Bay of Bengal

According to officials familiar with the development, the first phase of Malabar’s 24th edition would see complex and advanced naval exercises comprising surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare operations. Cross-deck flying and weapon firing operations are also a part of this quadrilateral exercise, they further said.
The Malabar originally started in the year 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the United States. Japan joined this coordinated naval effort as a permanent member in 2015.(PTI file photo)
The Malabar originally started in the year 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the United States. Japan joined this coordinated naval effort as a permanent member in 2015.(PTI file photo)
Updated on Nov 02, 2020 09:35 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com| Edited by: Harshit Sabarwal

India, the United States, Japan and Australia are all set to commence the first phase of the quadrilateral naval exercise called ‘Malabar’ from November 3 to November 6. The exercise will take place in the Bay of Bengal.

According to officials familiar with the development, the first phase of Malabar’s 24th edition would see complex and advanced naval exercises comprising surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare operations. Cross-deck flying and weapon firing operations are also a part of this quadrilateral exercise, they further said.

In view of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which has infected over 8.22 million across India, an official stated the exercise is being conducted as “non-contact, at sea only” adding that it will showcase high-levels of synergy and coordination between the navies of these four countries.

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“The first phase will witness participation of Indian Navy units with USN Ship USS John S McCain (a guided-missile destroyer), RAN Ship HMAS Ballarat (long range frigate) with integral MH-60 helicopter, and JMSDF Ship JS Onami (destroyer) with an integral SH-60 helicopter,” the official added.

Announcing the line-up of major warships and aircraft, he added that INS Ranvijay, multi-role frigate INS Shivalik, off-shore patrol vessel INS Sukanya, fleet tanker INS Shakti and submarine INS Sindhuraj will be deployed by the Indian side which is being led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan (Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet) during this phase.

The Malabar originally started in the year 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the United States. Japan joined this coordinated naval effort as a permanent member in 2015.

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The decision to invite Australia was announced by the government on October 19. The last time Australia got invited as a non-permanent partner by India for Malabar was in 2007.

Apart from the pandemic, the exercise is also taking place at a time of heightened border tensions between India and China. The Xi Jinping-led government is of the view that the annual naval coordination is an effort to contain China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021