The 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 held between the navies of between India, US and Japan are now underway and the exercises aim to increase interoperability amongst the three navies as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.
According to India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), the thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Aircraft Carrier operations, Air Defence, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Warfare, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Search and Rescue, Joint Manoeuvres and Tactical procedures.
In addition, officials from the three countries will be flown onboard the ships at sea on 15 July 2017.
The aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya with its air wing, guided missile destroyer Ranvir, indigenous stealth frigates Shivalik and Sahyadri, indigenous ASW corvette Kamorta, missile corvettes Kora and Kirpan, one Sindhughosh class submarine, fleet tanker INS Jyoti and Long-Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I make up the Indian Navy fleet taking part in the exercises.
The US Navy has brought ships from the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and other units from the US 7th Fleet for the exercises.
The US Navy forces will include the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Nimitz with its air wing, Ticonderoga-class cruiser Princeton, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Kidd, Howard and Shoup along with integral helicopters, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine and one Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft – Boeing P8A.
The JMSDF will be represented by JS Izumo, a helicopter carrier with SH 60K helicopters and JS Sazanami, a missile destroyer with SH 60K integral helicopter.
The exercise will also witness a separate interaction between IN and USN Special Forces and Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at the IN-MARCOS (marine commandos) training base INS Karna at Visakhapatnam.