The navies of India, the US, Australia and Japan on Tuesday began the second phase of the Malabar naval exercise in the northern Arabian Sea involving two aircraft carriers and a number of frontline warships, submarines and maritime reconnaissance aircraft, officials said.
The major highlight of the four-day exercise is participation of Indian Navy’s Vikramaditya carrier battle group and the Nimitz strike group of the US Navy. The USS Nimitz is the world’s largest warship.
The first phase of the Malabar exercise took place in the Bay of Bengal from November 3 to 6 and featured a number of complex drills including anti-submarine and anti-air warfare operations.
The Australian Navy has deployed its HMAS Ballarat, an Anzac-class frigate while the Japanese Navy has sent its leading destroyer JS Murasame for the exercise.
The mega exercise is taking place at a time India and China are locked in an over six-month-long bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh.
This exercise is involving coordinated operations of increasing complexity among the navies of the four countries which are part of the Quad or Quadrilateral Coalition, officials said.
“The two carriers, along with other ships, submarines and aircraft of the participating navies, would be engaged in high-intensity naval operations over four days,” the Indian Navy said on Monday.