India along with the three QUAD nations of the United States, Japan and Australia has commenced the Malabar joint naval drills from today (11 August), off the coast of Sydney, Australia.
Spanning a period of 10 days, from 11 August to 21 August, these naval drills will witness active participation from ships and aircraft from the United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The Indian Navy will participate with two indigenous ships, INS Sahyadri and INS Kolkata, both built by the state-run shipyard Mazagaon Docks Limited, Mumbai.
This edition marks the 27th iteration of the exercise and holds special significance as it is being hosted by the Australian Navy for the first time since the exercise's inception.
Malabar 2023 will be conducted in two phases, the Harbour Phase and the Sea Phase. The Harbour Phase involves wide-ranging activities such as cross-deck visits, professional exchanges, sports fixtures and several interactions for planning and conduct of the Sea Phase.
The Sea Phase, on the other hand, will involve various complex and high intensity exercises in all three domains of warfare, encompassing anti-surface, anti-air and anti-submarine exercises including live weapon firing drills.
The Royal Australian Navy will deploy two warships — HMAS Choules and HMAS Brisbane. The US and Japan will also contribute a warship each to the exercises.
Excluding Japan, the remaining three countries will field Boeing P8I maritime surveillance aircraft from their respective fleets.
According to reports, the focus of these exercises will be on sharpening various complex manoeuvres for detection of submarines.
The inaugural Malabar exercise took place in 1992, and since its inception, the exercise has progressively evolved in terms of complexity and prominence. Up until 2020, the Malabar exercises exclusively featured Japan, India, and the US.
In 2020, India extended an invitation to Australia to become a permanent partner in the Malabar exercise, marking the Royal Australian Navy's maiden participation in the event.
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