A three day bilateral maritime annual exercise called JIMEX was conducted by the navies of India and Japan from 6 to 8 October in the Arabian Sea.
Engaging in a high tempo of operations that were focused on air, surface and sub-surface dimensions of maritime operations, the ships and aircraft of the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Indian Navy had participated in the exercise.
The JIMEX series of maritime exercises had begun back in 2012 while its last edition was held in September 2020.
Objective of JIMEX
According to an official statement by the Ministry of Defence, via the conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, developing a common understanding of operational procedures and increasing inter-operability is what the JIMEX-21 was aimed for.
The exercise focused on the two forces partaking in weapon firings along with cross-deck helicopter movements, and complex surface, anti-submarine, and air warfare drills.
The joint military exercises
The Indian Navy was represented by the Indigenous Guided Missile Destroyer, INS Kochi (with Sea King MK 42B helicopter) along with INS Teg (with SAR capable Chetak helicopter) while Japan was represented by Izumo Class Helicopter Carrier Kaga and the Guided Missile Destroyer Murasame.
Indian Navy’s MiG 29K fighters carried out advanced anti-aircraft firing exercises on Expendable Aerial Target launched from the deck of INS Kochi and ship controlled Beyond Visual Range (BVR) combat drills.
In August 2021, INS Kochi had also participated in Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021 drill with Saudi Arabia which was its first-ever naval exercise with the nation.
Earlier this year, the Indian Navy (IN) had participated in the sea phase of Exercise Malabar 2021 along with the US Navy (USN), Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The exercise was held from 26 – 29 August 2021. These exercises have been held since 1992.
At the Malabar exercise, India participated with the Indian Navy’s INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt along with P8I patrol aircraft while USS Barry, USNS Rappahannock, USNS Big Horn and P8A patrol aircraft participated on behalf of the US Navy.
The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force was actively represented by JS Kaga, Murasame and Shiranui, in addition to a submarine and P1 patrol aircraft. The HMAS Warramunga had represented the Royal Australian Navy
In the previous year, scores of warships were made ready for any task in the aftermath of the border row with China in the Ladakh sector and the Indian navy was on an operational alert in the Indian Ocean. Along the critical sea lanes of communication and choke points, warships were positioned by India under its mission-based deployment and the vessels could be diverted for any mission.