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Navies of India, US, Japan, Australia conclude phase 1 of Malabar 2020 naval exercise


 Malabar 20 naval exercise in Bay of Bengal. (Image courtesy: Twitter)

New Delhi [India], November 7 (ANI): The first phase of the Malabar naval exercise has culminated in the Bay of Bengal with the participation by Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The 24th multinational maritime naval exercise, which started on November 3, was restricted to sea phase and conducted in “zero contact” format considering COVID19 pandemic.
The first phase of the exercise witnessed complex and advanced naval exercises including surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare drills, cross deck flying, and weapon firing exercises. It concluded on Friday.
“#Malabar_20 Phase I High tempo of ops involving @indiannavy platforms & @jmsdf_pao_eng @Australian_Navy @USNavy ships. Wpn firings, cross deck ops, anti-air, anti-sub & surface warfare drills culminating with advanced #WaratSea #Exercise. #Interoperability,” Navy spokesperson said in a tweet.
The 24th edition of the Malabar naval exercise is scheduled in two phases this month. It will display “high-levels of synergy and coordination” based on their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.
It is for first time in more than a decade that the exercise will see the participation of all four Quad countries. Australia is taking part in the exercise after 2007.
The first phase of Malabar 20 witnessed the participation of Indian Navy units with United States Ship (USS) John S McCain (guided-missile destroyer), Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Ballarat (long range frigates) with integral MH-60 helicopter and Japan Maritime Self Defence Ship (JMSDF) Onami (destroyer) with integral SH-60 helicopter.
The Indian Navy participation in phase one was led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
Indian Navy units participated in the exercise include destroyer Ranvijay, frigate Shivalik, offshore patrol vessel Sukanya, fleet support ship Shakti and submarine Sindhuraj.
In addition, advanced jet trainer Hawk, long-range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters also participated in the exercise.
Malabar exercises commenced in 1992 as a bilateral IN-USN exercise. JMSDF joined Malabar in 2015. The second phase of Malabar 20 is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea in mid-November 2020. (ANI)

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