The Navies of India, United States and Japan on 14 October 2015 began the five-day Malabar exercise 2015 on the Eastern Coast in which several warships, aircraft carriers and fast attack submarine will be participating.
Malabar 2015 is a latest in the continuing series of exercises conducted to advance multi-national maritime relationships and mutual security issues. Generally, the United States and India annually hold naval drills to sharpen skills, but this year the fleet of aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates conducting war games included a warship from Japan.
The Naval personnel of the three countries will participate in the event called Complex, High-end war-fighting exercise. During the exercise which includes both ashore and at-sea training, there would be knowledge sharing sessions as well.
In the exercise to be undertaken at-sea, the sessions include military-to-military coordination, submarine familiarisation, air defence and surface warfare exercises.
Participation of three countries in Malabar 2015
The US Navy’s fleet will include the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, the Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS City of Corpus Christi and the new littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth as well as a Ticonderoga-class destroyer.
The Indian Navy will dispatch a Rajput-class destroyer, a Brahmaputra-class frigate, a Shivalik-class frigate, a fleet support ship and a Sindhughosh-class diesel-electric submarine. India and the United States will also deploy P-8 Maritime Surveillance aircraft.
Japan will only participate with the Akizuki-class destroyer Fuyuzuki, that was commissioned in March 2014. The Fuyuzuki is specifically designed for anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare and is also capable of engaging airborne threats.
Why the joint naval drill by India, US and Japan a major concern for China?
The Malabar exercises have been held by India and the US since 1992. This year exercises assumed significance over India's move to invite Japan, much to the annoyance of China, which views Japan as a strategic rival in the Asia Pacific region.
This is the first such Naval drill involving navies of three countries in the Bay of Bengal in eight years, a matter of concern for China. The last time India hosted multilateral drills in its waters was in 2007, which prompted disquiet in China where some saw it as a US-inspired security grouping on the lines of NATO in Europe.
A multi-nation Malabar exercise in 2007 involving Japan, Singapore and Australia besides India and Japan also drew diplomatic objections from China.
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Where: Bay of Bengal
When: 14 October 2015