The four quad nations today will come together to commence the annual naval exercise, Malabar, in the Bay of Bengal region in an attempt to increase cooperation among countries in the Indo pacific region and align to multilateralism policy.
In the first phase of the exercise, India, the United States, Japan and Australia will conduct the military drill to send a strong signal to China owing to its increased military aggression in the region.
Here is everything you need to know about the Malabar exercise.
During the first phase of the exercise, the quad countries will indulge in surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare operations. Cross-deck flying and weapon firing operations are also a part of this quadrilateral exercise.
2020 Malabar exercise will be joined by Australia too, which has last been a part of the same back in 2007. Malabar’s 24th edition is being conducted as a “non-contact, at sea only” affair in the view of the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease.
“The first phase will witness the participation of Indian Navy units with USN Ship USS John S McCain (a guided-missile destroyer), RAN Ship HMAS Ballarat (long-range frigate) with integral MH-60 helicopter, and JMSDF Ship JS Onami (destroyer) with an integral SH-60 helicopter,” an official said.
“INS Ranvijay, multi-role frigate INS Shivalik, off-shore patrol vessel INS Sukanya, fleet tanker INS Shakti and submarine INS Sindhuraj will be deployed by the Indian side which is being led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan (Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet) during this phase,” the official said.
For history, Malabar dates back to 1992 when it was started as a bilateral exercise between India and the United States. However, in 1998 the exercise came to a halt after India conducted the nuclear test in Pokhran against the comfort of the USA.
However, in 2002, the relation between India and the USA strengthened again, and since then, Malabar has been an annual exercise. It was joined by Japan in 2015 and now Australia in 2020.
Australian defence minister Linda Reynolds said that Malabar 2020 is a milestone opportunity for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
“High-end military exercises like MALABAR are key to enhancing Australia’s maritime capabilities, building interoperability with our close partners, and demonstrating our collective resolve to support an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Reynolds was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.