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India, Australia, Japan and US begin joint naval exercise

The Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral drill between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. The JMSDF joined the exercise as a permanent member in 2015, and the RAN participated in 2020.

August 26, 2021 / 02:30 PM IST
The latest edition of the annual maritime exercise is hosted by the US and will be conducted in two phases. (Representative image)

The latest edition of the annual maritime exercise is hosted by the US and will be conducted in two phases. (Representative image)

Member countries of the Quad - India, Australia, Japan, and the United States - on August 26 began a joint naval exercise in the Philippine Sea.

"Indian Navy is participating in the sea phase of Exercise Malabar 2021 from 26 – 29 August 2021 along with the US Navy (USN), Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

The latest edition of the annual maritime exercise is hosted by the US and will be conducted in two phases from August 26-29.

"MALABAR-21 would witness complex exercises including anti-surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drill, and other manoeuvres and tactical exercises. The exercise will provide an opportunity for participating navies to derive benefit from each other’s expertise and experiences," India's defence ministry said.

The Indian Navy's participation includes INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt and P8I patrol aircraft led by Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.

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The Malabar exercise started in 1992 as a bilateral drill between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. The JMSDF joined the exercise as a permanent member in 2015, and the RAN participated in 2020.

Last year, the exercise was hosted in two phases in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

The four countries of  Quad are said to be working towards "a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific". The alliance is also viewed as an effort to counter China's influence in the region.
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first published: Aug 26, 2021 02:30 pm
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