July 10, 2017
Naval officials of three nations – India, US and Japan – said joint exercise Malabar 2017 was not aimed at any particular nation but was only to increase interoperability between the navies of the three countries.
The tri-nation joint naval exercise was not in any way connected to the current standoff between India and China. The Malabar joint naval exercise is a series of exercises, that commenced way back in 1992 between India and US navies. It has only grown is scope over the years and more so with participation of Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JKSDF).
Indian navy’s vice admiral HCS Bisht said, “the joint naval exercise is not connected to the border stand-off between the Indian and Chinese forces. The Malabar exercise process starts a year in advance.” It is also aimed at acting as a deterrence to non-state actors.
Rear Admiral William D Byrne, Commander, US Strike Group 11, said the only message that is sent from Malabar exercise is that “together we can eliminate miscalculations as to who we are and what are our capabilities.”
Bisht said the three navies are not ganging up against China as the Malabar exercise was started way back in 1992. The exercises begin on July 10 and last till July 17 in which 16 ships from three countries will participate. Also seen in action will be two submarines, 95 aircraft.
When asked by media persons on the presence of Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean, Indian naval officer Bisht said India navy can monitor the movement of ships.
Even as late as last week, joint naval exercise took place with Australian navy, he said.
Thrust at this tri-nation exercise was air warfare operations from sea — aircraft carrier operations, air defence, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare – and visit board search and seizure, search and rescue, joint manoeuvres and tactical procedures.
Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, guided missile destroyer Ranvir, indigenous stealth frigates Shivalik and Sahyadri, indigenous anti-submarine warfare corvette Kamorta, missile corvettes Kora and Kirpan and one Sindhughosh class submarine, fleet tanker INS Jyoti and long range maritime patrol aircraft P8I.