Malabar 2020 naval exercise begins in the Bay of Bengal
It will showcase synergy & coordination among the navies of India, Japan, US and Australia
The highly significant Malabar Exercise 2020, in which all Quad members comprising India, Japan, US, and Australia are participating for the first time, has begun off the coast of Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal.
Indian Navy units participating in the first phase of the exercise which will continue till November 6 include destroyer Ranvijay, frigate Shivalik, offshore patrol vessel Sukanya, fleet support ship Shakti and submarine Sindhuraj. Advanced jet trainer Hawk, long-range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, and helicopters are also participating in the exercise.
United States Ship (USS) John S McCain (Guided-missile destroyer), Australian Ship (HMAS) Ballarat (long range frigates) with integral MH-60 helicopter, and Japan Maritime Self Defence Ship (JMSDF) Onami (Destroyer) with integral SH-60 helicopter are participating in the exercise.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the Indian Navy, in the first phase of Malabar exercise, is being led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
The maritime exercise will showcase the high-levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies, which is based on their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.
Phase 1 of 24th edition of Naval Exercise #Malabar_20 to commence off #Visakhapatnam #BayofBengal from 03 to 06 Nov 20.@indiannavy, @USNavy, @JMSDF_PAO & @Australian_Navy— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) November 2, 2020
File Pics pic.twitter.com/2jZK0FWx0j
The exercise, being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of COVID-19 pandemic, aims at showcasing the high-levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies, which is based on their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.
Malabar phase 1 would witness complex and advanced naval exercises including surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare operations, cross deck flying, seamanship evolutions and weapon firing exercises, the Ministry of Defence said in its statement.
The Malabar Exercise, which started in 1992 as a bilateral naval drill between India and the United States, welcomed Japan as a permanent member in 2015. This year, it was announced that Australia which had last participated in 2007 would again join the exercise.
At a time when India and China are at loggerheads at the border, Australia’s participation in Malabar 20, will play a key role. The participants of this edition of Malabar exercise collectively support free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules-based international order.
The second phase of the annual maritime exercise is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea in mid-November 2020.