Trilateral Naval Exercise Current Affairs - 2019

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Malabar Exercise 2019: India, Japan, US Naval Exercise begins

The Malabar Exercise 2019, the trilateral maritime exercise between navies of India, Japan and the US began off the coast of Japan. The year 2019 is the 23rd edition of Malabar Exercise.

Key Highlights

Indian Navy: Two frontline indigenously designed and built Indian naval ships participating in exercise are- INS Sahyadri, a multi-purpose guided-missile frigate and INS Kiltan, a ASW (anti-submarine warfare) Corvette. In addition to ships, a P8I (Poseidon Eight India) Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft has also reached Japan for the exercise.

The US Navy: It is being represented by USS McCampbell (DDG-85), a Los Angeles-Class Attack Submarine, and a ‘P8A‘ Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

Japan Navy: known as The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF). It is participating with its JS Kaga, a Izumo class helicopter destroyer, JS Samidare and Choukai, a guided-missile destroyers and a ‘P1’ Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

During the harbour phase, the three partner navies would conduct sports fixtures, official protocol visits, reciprocal ship visits, professional interactions in subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) and social events.

Significance

Malabar 2019 exercise seeks to further strengthen India-Japan-US naval cooperation and enhance interoperability, based on shared values and principles. The exercise involves complex maritime operations in surface, sub-surface and air domains. It also focuses on maritime interdiction operations (MIO), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-air and anti-surface firings. Apart from these it also includes visit board search and seizure (VBSS) and tactical scenario-based exercise at sea.

Thus the participation of Indian naval ships and aircraft in the trilateral exercise would significantly bolster strong maritime bonds of friendship between three participant countries and at the same time it would contribute towards security and stability in region.

1st India, Singapore, Thailand Trilateral Naval Exercise begins

The maiden Trilateral Naval exercise involving Indian Navy (IN), Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Thailand Navy (RTN) commenced at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The five-day exercise will be held from 16 to 20 September 2019.

About India, Singapore, Thailand Naval Exercise

Background: This Trilateral naval exercise was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address at Shangri-La dialogue in June 2018. The Initial Planning Conference (IPC) to discuss modalities of exercise was held in May 2019 and Final Planning Conference (FPC) was held in August 2019. Earlier, Malaysia has also showed interest in joining exercise.

Objective: To bolster maritime inter-relationships amongst India, Thailand and Singapore as well as to contribute significantly towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.

Under the ambit of this exercise

RSN Tenacious of Singapore (a guided missile stealth frigate) and His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Kraburi (a guided-missile frigate of Thailand Navy) would exercise with Indian Naval Ship INS Ranvir (a guided-missile destroyer), INS Kora (a missile corvette) and Sukanya (an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)) along with P8I Long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

Harbour phase: During the harbour phase scheduled at Port Blair, professional exchanges, sports fixtures, and cross deck familiarisation visits would be organized.

Sea phase: It will be held from 18-20 September. Also, a host of surface and air operations that involves gunnery, communication drills and force protection measures would be conducted thus, providing experience gaining and learning from one another’s best practices.

The exercise would strengthen interoperability and development of a common understanding of procedures. Also, apart from fostering cooperation, the trilateral exercise would provide an opportunity to participating navies to come together in a spirit of collaboration to nurture stronger ties.