India, Australia, Japan and the US are today to start the second phase of this year’s Malabar naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Navy said yesterday.
They are to be the first military exercises held by the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) since Australia, the UK and the US announced their AUKUS pact on Sept. 15, under which London and Washington are to help Canberra obtain nuclear-powered submarines.
The three-day exercise is the 25th edition of the Malabar games, which began in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the US, and have since grown to become a hallmark of Quad naval interoperability.
The games have been held annually since 2002, with Australia and Japan joining for the first time in 2007. Japan became a permanent member in 2015 followed by Australia last year.
Phase 1 of this year’s exercise, hosted by the US, was held from Aug. 26 to Aug. 29 in the Philippine Sea off Guam.
The second phase intends to “build upon the synergy, coordination and interoperability developed during the first phase of the exercise and would focus on advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare,” the Indian Express quoted the Indian Navy as saying.
India is to send the Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay, Shivalik-class frigate INS Satpura, P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft and a submarine, the newspaper reported.
The US is to be represented by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and destroyers USS Lake Champlain and USS Stockdale, it said.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is to send its Izumo-class helicopter carrier JS Kaga and guided missile destroyer JS Murasame, while the Royal Australian Navy is to be represented by the Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat and replenishment vessel HMAS Sirius, it added.
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