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The second phase of the Malabar exercise begins today

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The navies of India, the United States, Japan and Australia will kick off the second phase of the Malabar exercise in the northern Arabian Sea on Tuesday as China closely follows the activities of the Quad countries and seeks to increase its footprint. in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), officials said Monday.

The second phase of the Malabar naval drills, which will take place from November 17 to 20, will be more elaborate and complex than the first, as it will include the participation of Indian and American aircraft carriers. “Phase 2 of Exercise Malabar 2020 will witness joint operations focused on the Vikramaditya Carrier Battle Group of the Indian Navy and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group of the US Navy. The two carriers, along with other ships, submarines and aircraft of the participating navies will participate in high intensity naval operations for four days, ”said a spokesman for the Indian Navy.

The exercise takes place at a time when India and China are locked in a border row in the Ladakh sector and talks to cut military pensions remain stalled.

See: The Malabar Exercise That Uffles China Is A Tectonic Shift In The Balance Of Power | Analysis

The first phase of the exercise took place in the Bay of Bengal from 3 to 6 November. The exercise is being carried out in a ‘no contact, only at sea’ format in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The second phase of the drills will include flight operations through the deck and advanced air defense exercises of INS Vikramaditya’s MiG-29K fighters and USS Nimitz’s F-18 fighters and the E2C Hawkeye aircraft, officials said. The drill will cover advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, and weapons firing to “further enhance interoperability and synergy between the four friendly navies,” the spokesman said.

Indian warships participating in the exercise include the indigenous destroyers INS Kolkata and INS Chennai, the stealth frigate INS Talwar, the INS Deepak fleet support ship, and comprehensive helicopters. Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, commanding flag officer of the Western Fleet, will lead the Indian Navy during the exercise, which will also feature the INS Khanderi submarine and the domestically-made P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

The USS Nimitz will be accompanied by the cruiser USS Princeton and the destroyer USS Sterett, and the US Navy P-8A maritime reconnaissance aircraft will also participate in the drills. Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Ballarat (long-range frigate) with its integral MH-60 helicopter will also participate in the exercise. The statement from the Indian Navy said that the Japanese Navy would participate in the drills, without giving details of their participation.

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