Exercise Malabar gets under way

Navy begins Mission Sagar-II to deliver aid to littoral states

Updated - December 04, 2021 10:33 pm IST

Published - November 03, 2020 08:12 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Sea drills: Ships of India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. taking part in the Malabar exercise in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday.

Sea drills: Ships of India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. taking part in the Malabar exercise in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday.

Phase-I of naval exercise Malabar 2020 , consisting of India, Australia, Japan and the U.S., began off the coast of Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday. The Navy also began Mission Sagar-II, under which INS Airavat entered the Sudan port carrying100 tonnes of food, the Navy said. Under the mission, India provides assistance to friendly countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read: Malabar 2020: the coming together of the Quad in the seas

Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the imperative to cooperate closely with regional defence partners on shared challenges was stronger than ever. “Exercise Malabar is an important opportunity to work in concert with like-minded nations to support a secure, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.” This is the first time, Australia has joined Malabar since 2007.

This is the 24th edition of the exercise that began in 1992 and this time It is being held in two phases, in the Bay of Bengal and from November 17 to 20 in the Arabian Sea.

Indian Navy ships Ranvijay, Shivalik, Shakti, Sukanya, and submarine Sindhuraj were exercising with US naval ship USS John S McCain, Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Ballarat, and Japanese Maritime Self Defence ship JS Onami, the Navy said.

The four navies would conduct a range of high-end training, including air defence and anti-submarine exercises, aviation, communications and at-sea replenishment between ships, a statement from the Australian Defence Ministry said.

Also read: China hopes Malabar naval drills will be conducive to peace, not contrary

“India and Australia are natural partners in the Indo-Pacific, and Exercise MALABAR is a clear demonstration of the depth of trust and cooperation between our defence organisations,” Ms. Reynolds added.

Mission Sagar-II

Mission Sagar-II is a follow-up of ‘Mission Sagar’ undertaken in May-June 2020, during which India delivered food and medicines to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros. As part of Mission Sagar-II, INS Airavat entered Port Sudan on November 2 with 100 tonnes of food.


“As part of Mission Sagar-II, Indian Naval Ship Airavat will deliver food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea,” the Navy said in a statement.

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