The Phase 1 of the Exercise MALABAR 20 involving participation by Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is set to commence in Bay of Bengal off Visakhapatnam, India from Nov. 3.
This is the 24th edition of the MALABAR maritime exercises which commenced in 1992 as a bilateral IN-USN exercise. JMSDF joined MALABAR in 2015 and the 2020 edition will now witness participation of the RAN.
Phase 1 of MALABAR 20 will witness participation of U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), Australian Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) with its embarked MH-60 Seahawk helicopter, and JMSDF Takanami-class destroyer JS Ōnami (DD-111) with its embarked SH-60 Seahawk helicopter.
Indian Navy units participating in the exercise include Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay (D55), Shivalik-class stealth multi-role frigate INS Shivalik (F47), Sukanya-class offshore patrol vessel INS Sukanya (P50), Deepak-class fleet tanker INS Shakti (A57) and Sindhughosh-class (Project 877EKM Kilo-class) diesel-electric attack submarine INS Sindhuraj (S57). In addition to the naval vessels, Indian Navy’s BAE Hawk advanced jet trainer, P-8I Poseidon long-range maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier Do 228 maritime patrol aircraft, and helicopters will also be participating in the exercise.
The Indian Navy participation in Phase 1 will be led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding of Eastern Fleet.
The exercise, being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of COVID-19 pandemic, will showcase the high-levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies, which is based on their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order. MALABAR 20 Phase 1 would witness complex and advanced naval exercises including surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare operations, cross deck flying, seamanship evolutions and weapon firing exercises.
The Phase 1 of Exercise MALABAR 20 will conclude on Nov. 6. The Phase 2 of the exercise is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea off India’s west coast in mid-November 2020.