Malabar Naval Exercise to begin on August 26

The navies of India, US, Australia and Japan are all set to conduct the Malabar Naval Exercise from August 26, 2021.

Key Points

  • The sea drill will be conducted off the Guam island, which is a territory of US. It is located 2,500 km east of the Philippines.
  • The annual exercise will be four-day affair.
  • It will be conducted with the aim of enhancing inter-operability, gaining from best practices and developing a common understanding of procedures required for maritime security operations.
  • Series of complex surface, under-water and air operations will be conducted as a part of the drill.

About Malabar Exercise

Malabar exercise is an annual naval exercise between the navies of India, Japan, Australia and the USA. It is held alternately in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

Background

Malabar exercise was started as a bilateral naval exercise in 1992 in between India the USA in 1992. In 2015, it was expanded into a trilateral format by including Japan. In November 2020, Australia also agreed to join the exercise on India’s request.

Aim of the exercise

The Malabar exercise is conducted annually with the aim of supporting free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. It also remains committed to a rule based international order. It also seeks to achieve interoperability with an emphasis on humanitarian assistance, anti-submarine warfare, gunnery training, surface war manoeuvres, counter-terror operations, and aerial surveillance.

How Australia was included?

The issue of inclusion of Australia in Malabar was discussed at the Quad foreign ministers meet in Tokyo in October 2020. Following the meeting, India invited Australia to join. This decision was taken with the goal of enhancing the ability of India, Japan, Australia and USA to work jointly towards bringing peace and stability across Indo-pacific region.

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