Bay of Bengal, July 18: While Malabar-2017 Naval Exercise concluded on Monday, Bay of Bengal witnessed the ‘Concert’ of India-US-Japan maritime power and coordination amongst three superpower nations. Malabar-17 is the “largest maritime exercise ever conducted in the vast Indian Ocean.”
The trilateral exercise between India-US-Japan aims to achieve deeper military ties among the three navies in the strategically-critical Indo-Pacific region.
Though the weather challenged this tri-lateral Naval exercise Malabar 2017; 21 ships, 100 aircraft, 2 Submarines and thousands of warriors in a war game which defined true mutual power. It was a mighty sight where the fighter jets of India and US flew together. According to the Indian Navy, MiG 29K fighter jets took off from India’s largest warship, the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. At the same time, US Navy’s F-18 fighter aircraft were launched from the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier as part of combined crew training.
These amazing images of Indian Navy's MiG 29Ks and US Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornets flying together are left everyone in awe!
The fighter aircraft from India and US navies also undertook composite formation flying, thereby demonstrating another step in the interoperability aimed through this exercise, said Indian Navy after the exercise concluded. Japan’s largest helicopter destroyer JS Izumo and India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya were engaged in the operation.
India and the US have been regularly conducting this annual exercise since 1992, this 21st edition of it created a buzz in China as well. But Navy officials dismissed that the exercise was aimed at China. They maintained that the operation was to uphold freedom of movement, enforce the rule of law, and address common maritime challenges in the region. “We are increasing interoperability and that is going to be the key,” said Rear Admiral William D. Byrne Jr. Commander, Carrier Strike Group, 11, U.S. Navy.
The U.S. Charge D’Affaires, Marykay L. Carlson said Malabar 2017 was a message for the whole world about cooperation, and not specifically aimed at any one country.
INS Jyoti, undertook replenishment operations at sea with the USS Shoup, and Sazanami of the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, passing hoses to the U.S. and Japanese Navies for transfer of oil. Under cross deck flying operations, a helicopter from USS ‘Shoup’ landed onboard Indian Naval Ship ‘Sahayadri’ and later on Japanese Naval ship ‘Sazanami’, the officials said. A helicopter from ‘Sazanami’ then undertook flying operations from INS Sahyadri and USS Shoup. “The cross deck flying operations require a high degree of interoperability and knowledge of procedures of participating in ships and helicopters”, officials added.