The 24th edition of the Malabar naval exercise scheduled in two phases in November will see the participation of Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Malabar 20 phase 1 would witness complex and advanced naval exercises including surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare operations, cross deck flying, seamanship evolutions and weapon firing exercises.
Malabar 20 phase 2 is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea in mid-November 2020.
According to the official statement issued by the Indian Navy, the exercise will start from Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal from November 3 to 6.
“Phase-1 of Malabar 20 will witness the participation of Indian Navy units with USN Ship USS John S McCain (Guided-missile destroyer), RAN Ship HMAS Ballarat (long-range frigate) with integral MH-60 helicopter, and JMSDF Ship JS Onami (Destroyer) with integral SH-60 helicopter,” read the statement.
It further read that the Indian Navy participation in phase 1 will be led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
“Indian Navy units participating in the exercise include destroyer Ranvijay, frigate Shivalik, Off Shore Patrol Vessel Sukanya, Fleet Support Ship Shakti and submarine Sindhuraj. In addition, Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk, long-range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, and helicopters will also be participating in the exercise,” the official statement said.
The Indian Navy said that the exercise, being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, will showcase the high-levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies, which is based on their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.
Malabar series of maritime exercises commenced in 1992 as a bilateral IN-USN exercise. JMSDF joined Malabar in 2015. The 2020 edition will now witness the participation of the RAN in this joint maritime exercise.