Malabar Naval exercise 2017 involving India, Japan and U.S. commences
Indian Defence News: Malabar 2017 naval exercise involving India, Japan and U.S. commences.
The Malabar exercise started in 1992 with the navies of US and India in the Indian Ocean. Japan only became a permanent partner of the Malabar exercise earlier in this decade, but it has participated in several drills since 2007. Last year in June, the three countries held their largest-ever joint exercise which involved 11 vessels and 8,000 personnel.
Among the dozens of ships participating from each of the countries, the highlights are India’s 44,570-tonne aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Japan’s largest 27,000-tonne helicopter carrier Izmuo and the US’s 100,000 tonne, nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Nimitz will be a part of the exercise.
One of the main goals of this 21st edition of the Malabar exercise is “submarine-hunting”, with India and the US also deploying their Poseidon-8 long-range maritime patrol aircraft. Also, being deployed is a new Japanese warship which can carry nine helicopters, which is also primarily meant for anti-submarine warfare.
This pronounced thrust on anti-submarine warfare comes at a time when the Indian Navy has recorded an “unusual surge” in the number of Chinese warships and submarines entering the Indian Ocean Region over the last two months, in a clear indication of muscle-flexing by Beijing after achieving what it believes is near-dominance in the contentious South China Sea. Indian and Chinese troops have also been locked in a tense face-off near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction since mid-June. Separately, there are disputes between China and Japan, over the extent of their respective exclusive economic zones in the East China Sea.
Formore details refer to the official Twitter link attached below.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump recently vowed to further strengthen the already expansive India-US defence and security partnership. The massive Malabar naval excercise is the most visible sign of this partnership. As it is, the US is now one of the top three arms suppliers to India, notching up sales worth $15 billion since 2007 – it has dislodged Russia from the top slot for the last couple of years.
China last week expressed hope that the upcoming joint naval drill between India, Japan, and the US is not aimed at other countries, agencies reported. “We have no objection to the normal bilateral relations and cooperation among relevant countries, but we hope that this kind of relationship and cooperation will not be directed at toy third party and will be conducive to the regional peace and stability,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.
Beijing has been suspicious about the purpose of the Malabar exercises as it feels that the annual war game is an effort to contain its influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Some reports said Beijing has sent a surveillance ship, the Haiwang Xiang, to monitor the Malabar Exercise. A Yuan-class diesel-electric submarine, the seventh underwater boat to be deployed by China in the Indian Ocean region since December 2013, is also currently in the region after an operational turnaround at Karachi.