Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and US’ supercarrier USS Nimitz will participate in the Malabar Exercise in the Indian Ocean.
The two aircraft carriers will exercise will warships from the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and the Royal Australian Navy in the second phase of the Malabar Exercise to take place later this month in the Arabian Sea. The first phase of the exercise concluded in the Bay of Bengal on 6 November.
This is not the first time the two aircraft carriers will participate in an exercise together. The two warships had taken part in the Malabar Exercise in 2017.
This edition of the Malabar Exercise is significant because it has brought all the four Quad countries together for a wargame for the first time in over a decade.
The ongoing tensions between India and China in eastern Ladakh, the US and China in the South China Sea and Australia and China on the issue of trade add more significance to the naval exercise in the Indian Ocean.
Over the last few years, India has signed logistics exchange agreements with the US, Japan and Australia to enhance military cooperation. Military exercises like the Malabar naval wargame are aimed at improving the ability of the armed forces of the Quad countries to work together to counter threats from China.
China’s presence in the Indian Ocean has been on the rise since 2008. The People’s Liberation Army has deployed not only warships and conventional submarines in the Indian Ocean but also its nuclear submarines. It has already established a naval base in Djibouti and is likely to have one in Pakistan in the near future.
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