Malabar Naval exercises conclude in Arabian Sea

2020-11-21 15:25:10 Marine News

The 24th edition of Exercise Malabar, which concluded on Friday, Nov 20, was reflective of the “commitment of the participating countries to support a free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific as well as a rules-based international order,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

The naval exercise held in two phases in Bay of Bengal

The naval exercise, consisting of India, Australia, Japan and the U.S., was held in two phases this time both in Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea. Australia joined the war games for the first time since 2007. In the backdrop of COVID-19, it was conducted in a ‘non-contact at sea only’ format.

“Advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions and weapon firings in addition to Dual carrier operations were also undertaken during both phases of Malabar 2020, demonstrating the synergy, coordination and inter-operability between the four

For Phase-II, Indian and the U.S. deployed aircraft carrier groups INS Vikramaditya and USS Nimitz respectively and P-8 long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft for Anti-Submarine Warfare drills. The two aircraft carriers, along with other ships, submarine and aircraft of the participating navies, engaged in high intensity naval operations, including cross-deck flying operations and advanced air defence exercises by MiG-29K fighters of INS Vikramaditya andF/A-18 fighters and E2C Hawkeye aircraft from USS Nimitz, the Navy said.

Phase-I of the 24th edition of Malabar was held from November 3 to 6 off the Visakhapatnam coast in the Bay of Bengal and Phase-II was held from November 17 to 20 in the northern Arabian Sea. The Navy’s participation in Phase-I was led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Eastern Fleet Commander, while Phase 2 was led by Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, Western Fleet Commander.

Malabar, which began as an annual bilateral naval exercise between India and the U.S. in 1992, has seen increasing scope and complexity over the years. It became trilateral with Japan in 2015.

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