After six months of quelled activities amid lockdowns imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian forces are preparing to conduct their long-awaited series of military exercises with allied nations starting with Russia and the United States, according to reports by TimesNow.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Indian armed forces have mostly halted their major military drills and exercises with strategic partners. For nearly six months, all international activities had ceased due to the COVID-19 pandemic engulfing the world posing too much risk to host drills. However, the Indian government has now decided to resume the long-held planned exercises with necessary precautions.
The Indian Navy will participate in RIMPAC 2020, which will be hosted by the U.S. Navy Pacific Command in the coast of Hawaii at the end of August. RIMPAC stands for “Rim of the Pacific” and is the world’s largest international military exercise which occurs biannually in even-numbered years. The exercise involves major naval drills and subsurface naval formations focused on warship-based exercises with the U.S.’s allied nations sending their warship to participate.
Although the Indian military will participate in RIMPAC, it will be limited. India’s participation may be restricted to naval aircraft like P-8i Poseidon maritime reconnaissance aircraft operated by the Indian Navy.
India will also prepare to participate in the Russian-hosted Caucasus 2020 strategic command and staff drills in September. The Indian Army contingent and a smaller naval group are expected to take part in the multinational drill.
India will host its own biggest naval drill, Malabar 2020, in November with the participation of the U.S. and Japan’s naval forces. Australia may also participate, but final details are still under discussion. Malabar typically involves bilateral and trilateral exercises, but this year India could make it a quadrilateral drill with the inclusion of the Australian Navy.
Military exercises are thoroughly important to any nation who wants to sharpen their ability in a combat role and want to adapt and keep up with the timely modern elements of warfare. With these exercises, India is interested to improve its ties with allied nations and enhance its skills in combat scenarios.