The Indian Navy shall be taking part in the upcoming second phase of the Multilateral Maritime Exercise Malabar which is going to be conducted from 12 to 15 October 2021 in the Bay of Bengal.
Navies of nations including the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the United States Navy (USN) shall also be participating in the exercise.
During the exercise, the Indian Navy shall be represented by INS Ranvijay, INS Satpura, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a Submarine while JS Kaga and JS Murasame shall be representing the JMSDF. The Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson along with two destroyers, USS Lake Champlain and USS Stockdale shall participate on behalf of the U.S. Navy. On the other hand, the Royal Australian Navy shall participate with its HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Sirius.
The objective of the Exercise
The exercise shall be conducted with a focus on advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions and weapon firings. As per official reports, coordination, synergy and inter-operability shall be built upon which was developed during the first phase of the exercise which was conducted earlier in August this year.
The Malabar series of exercises, which began as an annual bilateral naval exercise between India and the US in 1992, has seen increasing scope and complexity over the years.
A free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific, as well as a rules-based international order, is committed by the participating nations which shall be reflected during the 25th edition of MALABAR which is being conducted in two phases. It is reported that all protocols shall be followed by the participating nations keeping the COVID-19 pandemic in view.
All about the Malabar Exercise
Initially, the Malabar exercise had begun as a bilateral one back in 1992 and has the United States, Japan and India as its permanent partners.
Ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers through maritime interdiction operations, the annual Malabar exercises include diverse activities including diving salvage operations, amphibious operations, counter-piracy operations, anti-submarine warfare along with cross–deck helicopter landings and anti-air warfare operations.
Malabar-I was the first naval exercise between India and the United States held in 1992 but after India tested nuclear weapons, Americans suspended the exercises. However, military contracts were renewed by the United States following the September 11 attacks when India joined President George W Bush’s campaign against international terrorism.
In the previous year, during the 24th edition of the Malabar exercise, it was decided to include Australia in the exercise to support a free, open and rule-based Indo Pacific. This was the first time all four navies of the quad were in a joint exercise in 13 years.
This year, France had plans with regards to joining the four other nations and had planned its annual Jeanne d’Arc naval exercise around this event, as reported by the Sunday Telegraph on 7th March 2021.
Earlier this year, the exercise was held from 26 – 29 August 2021 with the Indian Navy (IN) participating along with the US Navy (USN), Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
During the phase INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt along with P8I patrol aircraft had represented India while USS Barry, USNS Rappahannock, USNS Big Horn and P8A patrol aircraft participated on behalf of the US Navy and The JS Kaga, Murasame and Shiranui, in addition to a submarine and P1 patrol aircraft represented the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force. The HMAS Warramunga had represented the Royal Australian Navy.