Updated: November 17, 2020 1:13:34 am
India, US, Japan and Australia will participate in the second phase of the Malabar naval exercise in the Northern Arabian Sea from November 17 to November 20. It is the first time in over a dozen years that the four countries are participating in such a large naval exercise — the first phase was conducted earlier this month off the Visakhapatnam coast.
The four countries also form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, and their coming together for a major wargame sends a strong message to China at a time when India and China are involved in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh.
The Malabar series of exercises, which began as an annual bilateral naval exercise between India and the US in 1992, the Navy said, “has seen increasing scope and complexity over the years” and the current 24th edition “highlights enhanced convergence of views amongst the four vibrant democracies on maritime issues, and showcases their commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order”.
The Navy said the second phase will take “forward the synergy achieved in the recently concluded Phase 1 of Exercise Malabar 2020, which was conducted in the Bay of Bengal” from November 3 to November 6. “This phase will involve coordinated operations of increasing complexity between the navies of Australia, India, Japan and the United States,” the Navy mentioned.
The second phase, it said, “will witness joint operations, centered around the Vikramaditya Carrier Battle Group of the Indian Navy and Nimitz Carrier Strike Group of the US Navy”.
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