Phase 1 of the 24th Edition of the Four-nation Naval Exercise Malabar 2020 took place in the Bay of Bengal from November 3-6, 2020. Since 2007, all the QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) Group countries (India, United States, Japan, Australia) participated for the 1st time in the Malabar Naval Exercise. The exercise was restricted to sea phase and was conducted in “Zero Contact” format due to Pandemic.
Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) participated in the maritime exercise.
i.For the first time in more than 10 years, exercise is witnessing the participation of all four Quad countries.
ii.Australia is taking part in the exercise for the first time after 2007.
iii.The First phase witnessed complex and advanced naval exercises including surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare drills, cross deck flying, and weapon firing exercises.
Second Phase of the Drill:
The Second Phase of the drill is scheduled to be held from November 17-20 in the Arabian Sea.
Indian Participants in the Exercise:
i.The Indian Navy participation in phase one was led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
ii.Indian Navy units which participated in the exercise include destroyer Ranvijay, frigate Shivalik, offshore patrol vessel Sukanya, fleet support ship Shakti and submarine Sindhuraj.
iii.In Addition, advanced jet trainer Hawk, long-range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters also participated in the exercise.
Participation of Navy units from Other QUAD members:
United States Ship (USS) John S McCain (Guided-missile destroyer), Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Ballarat (long range frigates) with integral MH-60 helicopter and Japan Maritime Self-Defence Ship (JMSDF) Onami (destroyer) with Integral SH-60 helicopter.
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 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).
ii.On October 3, 2020, the 2nd edition of Indian Navy (IN) – Bangladesh Navy (BN) Bilateral Exercise Bongosagar was held in Northern Bay of Bengal
About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters MoD (Navy)– New Delhi