India-US-Japan naval exercise on

New Delhi, Oct. 15 (ANI): The joint naval exercise among the United States, India and Japan has been kicked off the Chennai cost to deepen their maritime ties.

The six-day (Oct 14-19) naval exercises, known as ‘Malabar’, is a complex, high-end war-fighting exercise that has grown in scope and complexity over the years.

The Indian Navy has deployed a submarine to the Malabar exercises along with surface ships and maritime surveillance aircraft, but neither of its two aircraft carriers is taking part.

Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Bimal Kumar Verma said the first two days of the exercise would be held in harbour, which would include interactions among the crews of ships in terms of lectures and presentations.

“On 16th the ships will sail out and get on with the operational phase. We have submarine to submarine exercises, we have anti-submarine warfare, we have surface shoots, air defence exercises (and) Visit Boat Search and Seizure (VBSS) drills,” said Verma.

India and the US have been conducting the Malabar exercise since 1992, while India last hosted a multilateral exercise in 2007 when it invited Japan, Australia and Singapore to join drills with the US navy in the Bay of Bengal, prompting disquiet in Beijing where some saw it as a U.S.-inspired security grouping in the making along the lines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Europe. (ANI)

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