India to deploy INS Vikramaditya, anti-submarine corvettes in Malabar exercise

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New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) India will be deploying some of its largest warships, including aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and a submarine, for the Malabar naval exercise with the US and Japan in the Bay of Bengal, Navy sources said on Thursday.

India will altogether have seven ships, a submarine and aircraft for the exercise, that kicks off on Friday amid China’s growing footprint in the Indian Ocean Region.

The exercise, which will take place from July 7-17, will have anti-submarine warfare as a major focus, according to officials from the Indian and US Navies.

Besides a P8I maritime surveillance aircraft, India will also deploy two Kamorta class anti-submarine warfare corvettes – the first anti-submarine warfare stealth corvettes built in India.

Also participating from the Indian Navy will be two Shivalik class frigates – the first stealth warships built in India, two destroyers, a Kora class 1,350-ton guided missile corvette, and tanker INS Jyoti.

Malabar is a joint exercise between India and US, which now has Japan as a permanent partner.

In 2007, Australia was included along with Japan in the exercise. However, it withdrew following concerns expressed by China.

Australia has expressed interest in participating in the Malabar 2017 exercise, seeking an observers role this time.

–IANS

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