Navy to hold passage exercise with U.S. carrier

Continuing the series of its maritime engagements, the Navy is scheduled to hold another Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier group on October 12, an official source said.

Navy ships will hold a PASSEX with USS Ronald Reagan on October 12 as it transits through the Indian Ocean, the official said. The PASSEX is likely to be held in the waters off Kochi.

On September 25, for the first time a U.S. Navy P-8A long range maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) landed at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, for refuelling under the bilateral logistics support agreement.

In July, frontline warships of the Navy conducted a PASSEX with the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz carrier strike group near the Andaman and Nicobar islands as it was transiting the Indian Ocean. The USS Nimitz was returning from the South China Sea through the Strait of Malacca where it undertook Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP). USS Ronald Reagan was in the South China Sea in August to conduct FONOPs amid tensions between China and the U.S.

The trilateral Malabar Naval exercise with Japan and the U.S. is also scheduled to be held in November, though there is no clarity on inviting Australia for the exercise.

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