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Navies of India, Japan, US kickstart war games close to East China Sea

The exercise will support maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region and benefit the global maritime community, navy said.

Published: 11th June 2016 04:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th June 2016 04:04 AM   |  A+A-

AFP-Malabar-Exercise-US-Japan-India

In this US Navy handout photo, aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and Japanese Maritime Self-defense Force Akizuki-class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki (DD-118)(L) transit alongside the Indian Deepak-class fleet tanker INS Shakti (A 57)(C) during a r

NEW DELHI: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful visit to Washington DC, navies of India, US and Japan on Friday kicked off their naval war games,  Malabar Exercise, close to the waters in East China Sea amid rising tension in the region. The trilateral maritime exercise focuses on deeper military ties and greater interoperability.

According to the Indian Navy, their ships Satpura, Sahyadri, Shakti and Kirch are participating in the 20th edition of the naval exercise in consonance with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and growing ties among the three countries.

The exercise will support maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region and benefit the global maritime community, the Navy said.

The exercise assumes significance as it is being conducted close to East China Sea at a time when Chinese assertiveness in the region is a raging issue.

India and the US are conducting the annual exercise regularly since 1992. Since 2007, Malabar has been held alternatively off India and in the Western Pacific. Last year, it was conducted off the  Chennai coast and included Japan.

While the harbour phase of the exercise started on Friday at Sasebo, the sea phase in the Pacific Ocean will be held from June 14 to 17. “The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the three navies and develop common understanding of procedures for maritime security Operations,” the statement said.

Indian ships participating in the exercise are from the Eastern Fleet and include INS Sahyadri and INS Satpura, indigenously- built guided missile stealth frigates, INS Shakti, a modern fleet tanker and support ship, and INS Kirch, an indigenous guided missile corvette.

The US Navy will be represented by aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis (CVN 74), Ticonderoga class Cruiser USS Mobile Bay and Arleigh Burke class destroyers USS Stockdale and USS Chung Hoon, all carrying helicopters. In addition, one nuclear-powered submarine, carrier wing aircraft and long-range maritime patrol aircraft will also participate in the exercise.

Japan will be represented by Hyuga, a helicopter carrier with SH 60 K integral choppers, and long-range maritime patrol aircraft, besides other advanced warships. Special Forces (SF) of the three navies will also interact during the exercise.



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