New Delhi, July 10: Naval ships, aircraft and personnel from India, Japan and the United States epitomise the strong and resilient relationship between the three democracies. The 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal starting from Today to 17th July 2017.
The scope of MALABAR-17 includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase at Chennai from today to Thursday and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase from Thursday to July 17, 2017.
The MALABAR series of exercises, initiated in 1992 between the Indian and US Navies, have steadily grown in scope, complexity and participation into a multifaceted exercise with the participation of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the three navies as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.
The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Aircraft Carrier operations, Air Defence, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Warfare, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Search and Rescue, Joint Manoeuvres and Tactical procedures. In addition, officials from the three countries will be flown onboard the ships at sea on July 15, 2017.
The aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya with its air wing will be representing the Indian Navy with guided missile destroyer Ranvir, indigenous stealth frigates Shivalik and Sahyadri, indigenous ASW corvette Kamorta, missile corvettes Kora and Kirpan, one Sindhughosh class submarine, fleet tanker INS Jyoti and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I.
The ships from the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and other units from the US 7th Fleet will be representing US Navy. The US Navy forces will include the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Nimitz with its air wing, Ticonderoga-class cruiser Princeton, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Kidd, Howard and Shoup along with integral helicopters, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine and one Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8A.
A separate interaction between IN and USN Special Forces and Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at the IN MARCOS training base INS Karna at Visakhapatnam will be witnessed during the exercise.
The JMSDF will be represented by JS Izumo, a helicopter carrier with SH 60K helicopters and JS Sazanami, a missile destroyer with SH 60K integral helicopter.
Malabar 2017 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises that has grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area. India's aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Japan's largest warship JS Izumo and super-carrier Nimitz of the United States will be part of the exercise.
A number of other frontline ships, submarines and fighter jets of the three countries will be part of the drill. While ashore in Chennai, training will include subject matter expert and professional exchanges on carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol, surface and anti-submarine warfare, damage control and explosive ordnance disposal.
The at-sea portions will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal and are designed to advance participating nations’ military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment. The exercise is one of the biggest exercises conducted in the Indian Ocean Region.