Australian Navy to join Malabar Exercise
On October 19, 2020, the Government of India announced that the Australian Navy will join the Malabar exercise that is to be conducted in November 2020. This means that all the four Quad countries are to participate in the exercise.
The countries to participate in the exercise are Japan, India and US. In the process of seeking international cooperation in maritime security domain, India had sought Australia to participate in the exercise. The exercise is to be held in “non-contact at sea” format.
About Malabar Exercise
The Malabar Exercise was initially held between the Indian and US Navy. The exercise begun in 1992. Japan joined the exercise and became a permanent member in 2015. In 2018, India rejected the participation of Australia in the exercise. This was done to avoid posturing the exercise as a military group against China.
But today, all the four countries have come together on the context of “Free and Open Indo-Pacific”
In 2007, China issued “Demarche” against India, Australia, Japan and US about their meeting under QUAD initiative. Demarche is a line of action or counter move in diplomatic relations. It was the first and the last time, Australia had participated in Malabar Exercise. After 2007, Australia is participating in the exercise in 2020.
Lately, the Government of India had been conducting frequent maritime exercises in the Indian Ocean Region. The recently held joint naval exercises are as follows
- India-US held PASEX in July 2020. USS Nimitz, the world largest aircraft carrier of the United States participated in the exercise.
- India-Australia held PASEX in September 2020.
- India-Japan held JIMEX, 2020
- SAGAR KAVACH and Matla Abhiyan exercises were also held.
- India and Bangladesh held the BONGOSAGAR and CORPAT in October 2020.
- India-Sri Lanka held SLINEX, 2020.
- INDRA Naval Drills were conducted.
All these above exercises were held in the past two months of time period.