95 aircraft, 16 ships, two submarines; Malabar exercise sets great example to world

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Chennai, July 17: The six-day Malabar 2017 exercise that concluded in the Bay of Bengal on Monday demonstrated a deeper military ties between the three nations setting a great example to the world.

The exercise took place amid the ongoing military standoff between armies of India and China in the Sikkim section and Beijing ramping up its naval presence in South China sea.

As part of ongoing Malabar 2017 exercise, Indian Navy MIG-29K Fulcrums fly over USS Nimitz while training together. Photo credit: Indian Navy/ Twitter: SpokespersonNavy)

As many as 95 aircraft, 16 ships and two submarines from the three countries took part in the Naval exercise.

Breathtaking images of MIG-29K, F/A-18 jets flying over INS Vikramaditya and USS Nimitz from the 21st edition of the Malabar exercise were uploaded on the Indian Navy's Twitter account.

The US Navy represented by the ships from the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and other units from the US 7th Fleet. The US Navy included the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Nimitz with its air wing, Ticonderoga-class cruiser Princeton, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Kidd, Howard and Shoup along with integral helicopters, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine and one Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8A.

The 21st edition of the exercise, conducted ashore and at-sea, professional exchanges on carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare.

Medical operations, damage control, explosive ordinance disposal, helicopter operations and anti-submarine warfare also take place.

The at-sea exercise includes events such as submarine familiarisation, air defence exercises, medical evacuation drills, surface ware fare exercises, communication exercise and search and rescue operations.

Indian, Japanese and the US maritime forces have an understanding and knowledge of shared working environment at the sea.

The joint naval exercise was seen as a demonstration of a commitment of all three nations to address common maritime challenges across the spectrum of operations that benefit the global community.

Highlights

Naval manoeuvres in a rough monsoon sea, cross deck flying and crew exchange were some of the highlights of the trilateral 'Malabar' naval exercise between India, the US and Japan in the Bay of Bengal.

The sea phase of the exercise between the Indian Navy, Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force and US Navy saw the ships of the three navies participating in the naval manouvres at sea.

The movement of ships swiftly and smartly, at close quarters, is as an essential aspect fleet work. The manouevering was aimed at streamlining procedure in ship handling and communications, the Indian Navy said in a statement.

On July 15, the exercise also saw cross deck flying operations, wherein a helicopter from USS Shoup landed onboard INS Sahyadri and JN Sazanami. The helicopter from JN Sazanami undertook flying operations from INS Sahyadri and USS Shoup.

"The cross deck flying operations require a high degree of interoperability and knowledge of procedures of participating ships and helicopters," the Indian Navy said.

Despite the rough seas and challenging weather, the ships and aircraft of the three navies carried out their assigned tasks in a cohesive manner.

An Indian Navy Sea King helicopter undertook transfer of Japanese personnel to INS Vikramaditya as part of crew exchange programme during the exercise. It was followed by flying operations undertaken by the helicopters of the US Navy ships.

On July 16, INS Jyoti, a tanker ship undertook the manoeuvre Replenishment at Sea with US Navy ship Shoup and Japanese navy ship Sazanami. During this operation, INS Jyoti passed the oil hoses to the US and Japanese Navies to exercise transfer of fuel.

INS Vikramaditya, India's aircraft carrier participating in the exercise, launched MiG 29K fighter aircraft to undertake combat missions against the US Navy F-18 fighter aircraft launched from USS Nimitz, the USN aircraft carrier, for combined crew training.

In addition to the combat operations, the fighter aircraft from both navies undertook composite formation flying, thereby demonstrating another step in the interoperability aimed through this exercise, the statement said.

Onendia News (with IANS inputs)

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