CHENNAI: Chennai Port looked like a fortress as heavily armed marine commandos were seen guarding fleet of warships belonging to India, the United States and Japan as they were docked for Malabar 2017 that began on Monday.The 21st edition of the Exercise Malabar 2017, which is being conducted in the Bay of Bengal, had 16 warships, 95 aircraft and two submarines participating in the week-long joint naval exercise that began on Monday.
The exercise has been split into two which includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase at Chennai from Monday to Thursday and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase from July 14-17.Some warships that were to participate were docked at the outer harbour. Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, which would be an added attraction along with USS Nimitz and Japan’s helicopter carrier JS Izumo were not seen in the vicinity of the port.
Acquired from Israel, INS Shivalik, which can fire surface to air missile Barak 1 and has the ability to detect submarines is participating with Sahyadri, guided missile destroyer Ranvir, indigenous Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette Kamorta, missile corvettes Kora and Kirpan, one Sindhughosh class submarine, fleet tanker INS Jyoti and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I.
The US Navy’s USS Princeton, a 30-year-old warship which participated during the Gulf War operations, has been assigned to the Seventh Fleet to participate in the Exercise Malabar along with Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyers Kidd, Howard and Shoup along with integral helicopters, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine and one long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8A.
Interestingly, a US Navy official confirmed USS Princeton will join the Third Fleet which is making its way to North Korea, where the regime of Kim Jong-un continues to test missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.Meanwhile, Japan will be represented by its helicopter carrier JS Izumo and destroyer JS Sazaami. The focus is more on JS Izumo, which was commissioned two years ago and is on its maiden visit for the exercise.
A fleeting glance
United States Seventh Fleet
Commander: Vice Admiral P Aucoin
USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is a supercarrier of US Navy and the lead ship in her class. One of the largest warships, she was laid down, launched and commissioned as CVAN-68 but was redesignated CVN 68 (nuclear-powered multimission aircraft carrier).
USS Princeton (CG-59) is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser serving in the United States Navy. Armed with naval guns and anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine missiles, plus other weapons, she is equipped for surface-to-air, surface-to-surface, and anti-submarine warfare.
USS Howard (DDG-83) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. This ship is the 33rd destroyer of its class.
USS Shoup (DDG-86) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. The ship is named for Medal of Honor recipient General David M Shoup, the 22nd Commandant of the Marine Corps.
USS Pinckney (DDG-91) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the US Navy. She became the first ever guided missile destroyer to refuel and replenish the Mark Five (MK V) high-performance combatant craft.
USS Kidd is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the United States Navy. She is the third Navy ship named after Rear Admiral Isaac C Kidd, who was on board Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor and was the first American flag officer to die in World War II. The ship is part of Destroyer Squadron 9 of Carrier Strike Group 3.
USS Jacksonville, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine, is the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Jacksonville, Florida. The ship is nicknamed “The Bold One”.
Commander: Rear Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta
INS Sahyadri (F49) is a Shivalik-class stealth multi-role frigate built for the Indian Navy. This class features improved stealth and land attack capabilities over the Talwar-class frigates.
INS Vikramaditya is the newest and largest ship to join Indian Navy on November 16, 2013. The ship was commissioned by Defence Minister AK Antony in Russia.
INS Jalashwa is an amphibious transport dock currently in service with the Indian Navy. Formerly USS Trenton, she was procured from the United States.
INS Ranvir is the fourth of the five Rajput-class destroyers built for the Indian Navy. Ranvir was commissioned on October 28, 1986.
INS Shivalik is the lead ship of her class of stealth multi-role frigates built for the Indian Navy. She is the first stealth warship built by India.
INS Jyoti, third of the four Komandarm Fedko-class replenishment oilers.
INS Kirpan is a Khukri-class corvette.
Kora-class corvettes are 1,350-ton guided missile corvettes. Designed by India’s Naval design bureau under Project 25A.
INS Kamorta is the first of four anti-submarine Kamorta-class stealth corvettes which have been built for the Indian Navy.
INS Kadmatt (P29) is the second of four anti-submarine warfare corvettes built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers of Kolkata under Project 28.
INS Sukanya is the lead vessel of the Sukanya-class patrol vessels.
INS Sindhudhvaj (S56) is a Sindhughosh-class submarine of the Indian Navy.