Second Phase of Malabar Exercise commences

The second phase of Malabar Exercise is to be held between November 17, 2020 and November 20, 2020 in the Northern Arabian Sea. The first phase of Malabar exercise was held between November 3, 2020 and November 6, 2020 in Bay of Bengal.
The exercise is important because the four countries together form the QUAD grouping. Under the recent QUAD group meeting held in October 2020, the countries agreed on free and open Indo-Pacific Region.

Key Highlights

The Navies of India, Japan, Australia and US are to participate in the second phase of Malabar Exercise. This is the first time in the decade that the four countries are participating in such as large war-gaming naval exercise.

The first phase involved fighter jets, aircraft carriers, submarine and other ships. The second phase is to witness joint operations centred around USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group of US Navy and the Vikramaditya Carrier Battle Group of Indian Navy.

Also, during the second phase, the navies are to engage in high intensity naval operations such as cross deck flying and also air defence exercises by F-18 fighters from Nimitz and MIG-29K fighters of Vikramaditya. The other exercises to be held during the second phase include anti-submarine warfare, advanced surface warfare, weapon firings and seamanship evolutions.

The exercise will help to enhance inter-operability between the four friendly navies.

Indian Navy Participation

Apart from INS Vikramaditya, helicopter air-wings, indigenous destroyers Chennai and Kolkata, fleet support ship Deepak, stealth frigate Talwar and integral helicopters are to participate in the exercise. Also, the indigenously built P81, the maritime reconnaissance Poseidon and submarine Khanderi are to participate in the exercise.

US Navy Participation

The US Carrier Nimitz is to be accompanied by destroyer Strett and cruiser Princeton. Also, the P8A maritime reconnaissance aircraft of the US are to participate in the exercise

Japan and Australia Participation

The Japan Maritime Self Defence Force is to join the exercise. The Royal Australian Navy is to be represented by its frigate Ballarant.

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