Indo-US naval war games to begin from October 20

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Marmagao Port (Goa), Oct 18 : The Indian and the US navies are all set to engage each other in war games in the Arabian Sea.

The exercises, which will be undertaken under the recurrent Malabar series of exercises that commenced in 1992, would take place from October 20 in Goa.

Diverse activities ranging from gun-firing and fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers, to combating the scourge of terror, through Maritime Interdiction Operations exercises would be included during the exercises.

The exercise is primarily aimed at deriving mutual benefit from the experiences of the two participating professional navies.

"These exercises are meant to increase intel-operability, that means being able to operate together and using the same procedures that we can understand, as all navies have slightly different procedures from each other," said Anil Chopra, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Indian Navy.

The Indian navy will be represented by, INS Mumbai, an indigenous Delhi Class guided missile destroyer; INS Rana, a Rajput Class guided missile destroyer and four guided missile frigates - INS Talwar, Godavari, Brahmaputra and Betwa.

In addition, INS Aditya which is an underway replenishment tanker and Shishumar class submarine, Sea Harrier fighters, fixed and rotary wing aircraft are also scheduled to participate in the joint exercise.

Ronald Reagan Strike Group (RRSG) of the USN 7th Fleet which is based at Yokosuka, Japan will represent the US navy.

The RRSG will include USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Chancellorsville, USS Gridley, USS Decatur, USS Thach and USS Bridge, an underway replenishment tanker.

In addition, one submarine, USS Springfield and one P3C Orion aircraft will also participate in the exercise.

The regular India-US navy interaction over the years has resulted in an increase in the complexity and professional content of the bilateral exercise.

The thrust of the exercise this year would be on Surface or Air Operations, Advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Firings, VBSS (Visit Board Search and Seizure) and Submarine Operations.

These exercises will enable enhancing maritime cooperation.

"We also hope to advance to more complex operations and teach our cadets to go beyond technical exercises which we have continued to do with Malabar. Ninety percent of the world's trade passes on the oceans. The maritime cooperation of the two navies is a vital component to reach stability and prosperity for India, US and other nations," said John P. Nolan, USN, Commanding Officer of Chancellorsville, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Indian warships were involved in exercises with the USS Ronald Reagan in waters off the Sri Lankan coast last year, which had five participating countries - India, US, Australia, Japan and Singapore.

ANI

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