Phase 2 of the 24th Edition of the Four-nation Naval Exercise Malabar 2020 took place in the Arabian Sea from November 17-20, 2020. This is the First time since 2007, that all the QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) Countries (India, United States, Japan, Australia) are participating in the Malabar Naval Exercise.
i.The Phase-1 of the Four-Nation exercise took place in the Bay of Bengal from November 3-6, 2020.
ii.Both Phase-1 & Phase-2 of the exercise was restricted to sea phase and were conducted in “Zero Contact” format due to Pandemic.
iii.Australia is taking part in the exercise for the first time after 2007.
Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Highlights from Phase-2:
i.The Phase-2 of the naval exercises included high intensity naval operations, cross-deck flying operations and advanced air defence exercises by MIG 29K fighters of INS Aircraft Carrier Vikramaditya and F/A-18 fighters and E2C Hawkeye from USS Nimitz (World’s Largest Warship).
ii.Other drills conducted during the Naval exercise are ‘Dual Carrier’ operations, advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions and weapon firing.
iii.The exercise demonstrated the synergy, coordination and interoperability between the Navies of QUAD Countries.
Indian Participation in the Malabar Exercise:
i.Indian Navy Participation in Phase Two was led by Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, Western Fleet Commander.
ii.Indian Navy units which participated in the exercise include Indian Navy’s Aircraft Carrier INS (Indian Navy Ship) Vikramaditya, Indigenous destroyers Kolkata and Chennai, stealth frigate Talwar, Fleet Support Ship Deepak, Integral helicopters of these warships, and indigenously built submarine Khanderi and P8I and IL-38 maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
Participation of Navy units from Other QUAD members:
i.United States (US) Navy’s Strike Carrier Nimitz was accompanied by Cruiser Princeton and Destroyer Sterett in addition to P8A maritime surveillance aircraft.
ii.Australian Navy deployed its HMAS (Her Majesty’s Australian Ship) Ballarat, an Anzac-class frigate while Japanese Navy sent its leading destroyer JS Murasame for the exercise.
i.The Malabar is Annual Exercise started in 1992 as a Bilateral drill between Indian Navy and US Navy in the Indian Ocean.
ii.Japan joined the exercise as a Permanent Member of the Exercise in 2015.
Recent Related News:
i.On October 3, 2020, the 2nd edition of Indian Navy (IN) – Bangladesh Navy (BN) Bilateral Exercise Bongosagar was held in Northern Bay of Bengal, followed by 3rd edition of IN – BN Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) from 4 to 5 October 2020 at the same venue.
About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters MoD (Navy)– New Delhi