Tue, 01 Dec 2020

New Delhi [India], November 17 (ANI): The second phase of the Malabar exercise began on Tuesday in the Northern Arabian Sea with the participation of Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, the American aircraft carrier USS Nimitz along with other Indian, US, Australian and Japanese warships carrying out 'Malabar-2020' wargames.

The Australian Navy is taking part with its warship HMAS Ballarat and Japan with destroyer JS Murasame. The second phase of the Malabar exercise will be conducted in the Northern Arabian Sea till November 20.

"Taking forward the synergy achieved in the recently concluded Phase 1 of Exercise Malabar 2020, which was conducted in the Bay of Bengal November from 03 to 06, this phase will involve coordinated operations of increasing complexity between the navies of Australia, India, Japan and the United States," an official release on Monday.

"Phase 2 of Exercise Malabar 2020 will witness joint operations, centred around the Vikramaditya Carrier Battle Group of the Indian Navy and Nimitz Carrier Strike Group of the US Navy. The two carriers, along with other ships, submarine and aircraft of the participating navies, would be engaged in high-intensity naval operations over four days," the release added.

The release stated that these exercises include cross-deck flying operations and advanced air defence exercises by MIG 29K fighters of VikramadityaandF-18 fighters and E2C Hawkeye from Nimitz.

In addition, advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions and weapon firings will also be undertaken to further enhance interoperability and synergy between the four friendly navies.

In addition to Vikramaditya and its fighter and helicopter air-wings, indigenous destroyers Kolkata and Chennai, stealth frigate Talwar, Fleet Support Ship Deepak and integral helicopters will also participate in the exercise, led by Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet. Indigenously built submarineKhanderiand P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft of the Indian Navy will also showcase their capabilities during the exercise.

US Navy's Strike Carrier Nimitz will be accompanied by cruiser Princeton and destroyer Sterett in addition to P8A maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The Royal Australian Navy will be represented by frigate Ballarat along with its integral helicopter. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force will also participate in the exercise.

"The Malabar series of exercises, which began as an annual bilateral naval exercise between India and the US in 1992, has seen increasing scope and complexity over the years. The 24th edition of Malabar, which is being presently undertaken, highlights enhanced convergence of views amongst the four vibrant democracies on maritime issues, and showcases their commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order," the release said. (ANI)

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