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Malabar naval exercise to be held in two phases from Tuesday
New Delhi, November 2, 2020
The 24th edition of the Malabar naval exercise, involving participation by the Indian Navy (IN), the United States Navy (USN), the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), will beheld in two phases this month.
The first phase of the exercise is set to commence off Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal tomorrow and go on till November 6.
The Malabar series of maritime exercises commenced in 1992 as a bilateral IN-USN exercise. JMSDF joined Malabar in 2015. The 2020 edition will now witness participation of the RAN in this joint maritime exercise.
A press release from the Ministry of Defence said Phase 1 of Malabar 20 will witness participation of Indian Navy units with United States Ship (USS) John S McCain (Guided-missile destroyer), Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Ballarat (long range frigates) with integral MH-60 helicopter, and Japan Maritime Self Defence Ship (JMSDF) Onami (Destroyer) with integral SH-60 helicopter.
The Indian Navy participation in Phase 1 will be led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. Indian Navy units participating in the exercise include destroyer Ranvijay, frigate Shivalik, Off Shore Patrol Vessel Sukanya, Fleet Support Ship Shakti and submarine Sindhuraj. In addition, Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk, long-range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, and helicopters will also be participating in the exercise.
The exercise, being conducted as a "non-contact, at sea only" exercise in view of COVID-19 pandemic, will showcase the high levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies, which is based on their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order, the release said.
"Malabar Phase 1 would witness complex and advanced naval exercises including surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare operations, cross deck flying, seamanship evolutions and weapon firing exercises," it said.
Phase 2 of Malabar 20 is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea in mid-November, the release added.