‘Malabar' is the 16 in the series of structured bilateral exercises since '92

The 2012 edition of the annual Indo-U.S. Naval exercise code-named ‘Malabar' being held in the Bay of Bengal began on Saturday at Chennai.

The 10-day exercise, which will continue till April 16, will see the participation of the frontline units from both the Navies.

Seminars

The Harbour phase, scheduled from Saturday to Monday, is being held at Chennai wherein both the Navies will participate in professional seminars, according to a spokesman of the Eastern Naval Command here.

The Sea phase will extend from Chennai to the Andaman Islands, and will encompass a wide spectrum of exercise ranging from conventional War Fight Missions to Asymmetric Warfare. The focus areas of the exercise will be Boarding Operations, Air Defence Exercise, Helicopter crossdeck Operations, and coordinated Anti Submarine warfare.

The U.S. Navy would be represented by ships from Carrier Task Force 70 of the US 7TH Fleet, which is based at Yokosuka, Japan. The CTF would include the Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vison, Guided Missile Cruiser USS Bunkerhill, Guided Missile Destroyer USS Halsey, and logistics ship USNS Bridge. In addition, one Los Angeles Class submarine, USS Louisville, and one P3C Orion Aircraft would participate in the exercise, he said.

The Indian Navy is represented by the indigenously built Guided Missile Frigate INS Satpura, Guided Missile Destroyers INS Ranvijay, and INS Ranvir, Missile Corvette INS Kulish, and Fleet Tanker INS Shakti.

In addition, Maritime Patrol Aircraft TU 142M and other Rotary Wing Aircraft are also scheduled to participate in the bilateral exercise.

Strategic relationship

The Naval cooperation between India and the USA reflects the long-term strategic relationship between both the countries. The two Navies have, over the years, collaborated over a wide spectrum of activities and exercises to advance the maritime partnership.

Malabar 12 will be the 16 in the series of structured bilateral exercises since 1992 that have steadily grown in scope and complexity.

The interoperability achieved over the years as a result of such exercise has proved to be operationally beneficial during the ongoing Anti Piracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden as also during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) Operations.

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