On July 20, 2020, Indian Navy undertook a short joint naval Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with the United States (US) Navy near the Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) islands in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to conduct maritime drills, against the backdrop of the India-China border standoff in Ladakh. Both naval forces conducted high-end exercises designed to maximize training and interoperability, including air defence. The passage exercise involved a total of eight Indian and US warships which are as follows:
Indian side: India was represented by Rajput class destroyer INS (Indian Naval Ship) Rana (D52), two Shivalik class indigenously built stealth frigates – INS Sahyadri (F49) and INS Shivalik (F47) and anti submarine corvette of the Kamorta class INS Kamorta (P28).
- Notably, all are from the Eastern Naval Command as they are currently carrying out manoeuvres near A&N Islands.
US Side: US was represented by US Navy carrier strike group which was led by USS (United States Ship) Nimitz (CVN 68), a nuclear-powered World’s largest aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and consisted of Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).
- Rear Admiral Jim Kirk is the commander of the Nimitz carrier strike group which is operated by US 7th Fleet headquarter in Japan, the largest of the US Navy’s forward deployed fleets.
-This PASSEX was conducted at a time when the US Nimitz carrier strike group was on its way to be deployed in the Gulf region from the South China Sea which symbolizes the close strategic partnership between India & US.
-The larger exercise i.e. “Malabar” is delayed amid COVID-19 and set to be held by the end of 2020. It is usually held between India, the US and Japan. This year Australia is likely to join the trio.
– Indian Navy has also recently conducted similar joint exercises with Japanese and French Navy.
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Recent Relate News:
On June 29, 2020, In order to promote mutual understanding, Indian Navy and Japanese Navy (Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force) have conducted a day long Naval Exercise PASSEX (Passing Exercise) for tactical and communications training, towards the Malacca Strait in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Read India, Japan Hold PASSEX Naval Exercise to Promote Understanding in Indian Ocean.