The second phase of Malabar Exercise 2020 is scheduled to start on Tuesday (November 17) in the Northern Arabian Sea. According to an official press release, the exercise will conclude on November 20. The exercise will involve coordinated operations between the navies of India, the US, Australia and Japan.
Experts maintain that the second phase of Malabar Exercise 2020 will take forward the synergy achieved between the navies of the four countries in the recently concluded Phase 1 of Malabar Exercise. It may be recalled that first phase of the crucial execise was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from November 3-6.
Phase 2 of Malabar Exercise 2020 will witness joint operations, centred around the Vikramaditya Carrier Battle Group of the Indian Navy and Nimitz Carrier Strike Group of the US Navy. The two carriers, along with other ships, submarine and aircraft of the participating navies, would be engaged in high-intensity naval operations over four days.
These exercises include cross-deck flying operations and advanced air defence exercises by MIG 29K fighters of Vikramaditya and F-18 fighters and E2C Hawkeye from Nimitz. In addition, advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions and weapon firings will also be undertaken to further enhance interoperability and synergy between the four friendly navies.
In addition to Vikramaditya and its fighter and helicopter air-wings, indigenous destroyers Kolkata and Chennai, stealth frigate Talwar, Fleet Support Ship Deepak and integral helicopters will also participate in the exercise, led by Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet. Indigenously built submarineKhanderiand P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft of the Indian Navy will also showcase their capabilities during the exercise.
US Navy’s Strike Carrier Nimitz, which is believed to be one of the strongest strike carrier in the world, will be accompanied by cruiser Princeton and destroyer Sterett in addition to P8A maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
The Royal Australian Navy will be represented by frigate Ballarat along with its integral helicopter. JMSDF will also participate in the exercise.
The Malabar series of exercises started as an annual bilateral naval exercise between India and the US in 1992.