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Indian Navy conducts Second Phase of Malabar exercise with QUAD navies

Indian Navy frigate INS Trikand (F51) of the Talwar class (modified Russian Krivak III class) frigate entering Portsmouth Naval Base, UK, on 12 July 2013. (Brian Burnell/Wikimedia Commons)
October 16, 2021

In an aim to strengthen maritime security and stabilize freedom of navigation, QUAD navies participated in a diverse range of naval drills, with the main focus being the MALABAR quadrilateral drill, according to India Today.

The Indian Navy carried out the Second Phase of the quadrilateral maritime exercise ‘Malabar,’ along with the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and the United States Navy (USN) to bolster the significance of the naval alliance between the world’s four major democracies and global military powers in an effort to balance Chinese aggression.

The war drill took place in Bay of Bengal from October 12 to 15, with the US Navy bringing its supercarrier to consolidate its measure of naval power.

The second phase of the Malabar exercise called on all nations close to India’s operational waters and helped to build synergic coordination between the participating navies and strengthen the interoperability developed during the first phase of the exercise. The entire four days of war drill focused on advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions, and weapon firings.

For the wargame, the Indian Navy dispatched its eastern fleet vessels INS Ranvijay, Rajput class Destroyer, INS Satpura, and Shivalik class frigate, along with P-8i Neptune Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft.

The second phase included a Malabar exercise in an even bigger manner of wargames than the first conducted off Guam in the US in the Western Pacific a few months back, with the United States deploying an over 1,000,000-tonne displacing USS Nimitz-class supercarrier. A second phase US Navy sent a flotilla of two destroyers, USS Lake Champlain and USS Stockdale led by Supercarrier USS Carl Vinson.

On behalf of the Japanese Navy, the latest destroyer ship JS Kaga and guided-missile destroyer JS Murasame participated with their integral SH60K helicopters and the Royal Australian Navy was represented by two ships: HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Sirius.

This 25th edition of Malabar was conducted in two phases to comply with the safety protocols of the COVID-19 pandemic, proving the commitment of the QUAD nations to support a free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific, as well as a rules-based international order.

Previously, the first phase of the war drill was conducted in the Philippines sea from August 26 to 29.

India also hosted bilateral naval exercises with both Australia and Japan to enhance naval interoperability between the two nations. India aims to increase its sphere of security and patrolling with major countries in the Indian Ocean Region.