The Indian Navy is deploying a naval task group comprising four frontline warships to the South China Sea, Western Pacific and South East Asia for over two months beginning early August, in a significant move aimed at enhancing its profile in the strategically key sea lanes.
In the course of their deployment, the ships will participate in the next edition of the Malabar exercise alongside the navies of Japan, Australia, the US in the Western Pacific, Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.
It will be the second consecutive year when navies of all four member countries of Quad or the Quadrilateral coalition will carry out the mega naval wargame.
China has been suspicious about the purpose of the Malabar exercise as it feels that the wargame is a part of efforts to contain its influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
Commander Madhwal said the naval task group comprises guided-missile destroyer Ranvijay, guided-missile frigate Shivalik, anti-submarine corvette Kadmatt and guided-missile corvette Kora.
The ships are also scheduled to carry out bilateral exercises with the navies of Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.