The 2012 edition of the annual India-U.S. naval exercise, ‘Malabar,' will be held in the Bay of Bengal from April 7.

Frontline units from both navies will take part in the 10-day exercise, says an official release.

The ‘harbour phase' will begin in Chennai, with both navies taking part in professional seminars. The ‘sea phase,' will encompass a wide spectrum of exercises, ranging from conventional war fight mission to asymmetric warfare. The focus areas will be boarding operations, air defence exercises, helicopter cross-deck operations and co-ordinated anti-submarine warfare.

The U.S. Navy will be represented by ships from the Carrier Task Force (CTF) 70 of the US 7 Fleet based at Yokosuka in Japan. The CTF will include aircraft carrier USS Carl Vision, guided missile cruiser USS Bunkerhill, guided missile destroyer USS Halsey and logistics ship UNNS Bridge. Los Angeles-class submarine USS Louisville and a P3C Orion aircraft will also be involved.

The Indian Navy will be represented by indigenously built guided missile frigate INS Satpur, guided missile destroyers INS Ranvijay and INS Ranvir, missile corvette INS Kulish and fleet tanker INS Shakti. Maritime patrol aircraft Tu-142M and other rotary wing aircraft will also take part in the exercise.

Naval co-operation between the two countries is a long-term relationship. Over the years, the two navies have collaborated in a wide spectrum of activities and exercises to advance the maritime partnership, says the release.

‘Malabar' 2012 will be the 16th in the series of structured bilateral exercise since 1992, which has steadily grown in scope and complexity. The inter-operability achieved over the years as a result of the 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 operations.