Malabar Exercise Current Affairs

India, Japan, US: Malabar Exercise 2018 to be held off coast of Guam in Philippine Sea

Trilateral Naval Exercise Malabar 2018 between India, Japan and United States will be held off the coast of Guam in Philippine Sea from June 6-15, 2018.  It will be 22nd edition of the naval exercise. The exercise comes at time of increased friction between China and US along with nations bordering resource rich South China Sea (SCS) as China is militarising reclaimed islands in it to further strengthen its claim.

Key Facts

This edition of annual exercise will focus on high-end war fighting skillsets, subject matter expert and professional exchanges. It will also include combined carrier strike group operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, medical operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, damage control, helicopter operations and visit, board, search and seizure operations.

Indian Navy participation in this year’s exercises will include indigenous stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, fleet tanker INS Shakti, anti-submarine corvette INS Kamorta and P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft. Japan is deploying its helicopter carrier JDS Ise along with Kawasaki P-1 aircraft maritime patrol aircraft and Soryu class conventional submarines. US is sending its aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan along with strike complement of destroyers, nuclear attack submarines and support ships in addition to P-8A maritime patrol aircraft.

Background

Malabar Exercise was started as Indo-US bilateral naval war drill in 1992. Since then it is held annually. Japan had formally joined the exercise as permanent participant in 2015, making it trilateral exercise. The primary aim of this multilateral exercise is to increase interoperability amongst navies of three countries and develop common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations and deepen defence relations between them. In 2007, the exercise also saw participation of Australia and Singapore. All the participating nations in the exercise have clarified earlier that the Malabar series is not aimed at any specific country.

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India, US and Japan navies kick off 2017 Malabar Exercise

India, Japan and United States (US) navies have kicked off 2017 MALABAR trilateral naval Exercise near Chennai in Bay of Bengal. This year it is the 21st edition of the naval exercise.

In this edition of the exercise, total of around 15 warships, two submarines and scores of fighter jets, surveillance aircraft and helicopters from three navies will take part. 

Key Facts

The 8 day long Malabar 2017 exercise consists of both ashore and at-sea activities. This year operations of the exercise include anti-submarine warfare, familiarization with inter-operability between maritime forces, search and rescue and seizure missions and many other drills.

One of the main goals of this edition of the exercise is “submarine-hunting”. The goal carries subtext given the ever-increasing and regular operation of Chinese Navy submarines in the Indian Ocean.

This year, two aircraft carriers from India and US and a Japanese helicopter destroyer form part of the warships that will join the naval drills.

Participants from US Navy include the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Nimitz with embarked Carrier Air Wing 11; guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton; guided-missile destroyers USS Howard, USS Shoup and USS Kidd; a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft; and a Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine.

From Indian Navy, aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is participating for the first time. Two Kamorta class anti-submarine warfare corvettes, two Shivalik class frigates and tanker INS Jyoti are also participating. The Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSD) ships JS Izumo and JS Sazanami are participating in the exercise.

Background

Malabar Exercise began as an Indo-US bilateral naval drill in 1992. Since then it is held annually. Japan had formally joined the exercise as a permanent participant in 2015. The primary aim of this multilateral exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the three navies and develop common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations and deepen defence relations. In 2007, the exercise also saw participation of Australia and Singapore. All the participating nations in the exercise have clarified earlier that the Malabar series is not aimed at any specific country.

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