Indian Navy carries out military drill with US carrier strike group off Andaman sea
New Delhi, Jul 20: In the midst of India's border row with China, a fleet of Indian naval warships on Monday carried out a military drill with a US navy carrier strike group led by nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, off the coast of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, officials said.
Four frontline warships of the Indian Navy participated in the "PASSEX" exercise when the US carrier strike group was transiting through the Indian Ocean Region on its way from the South China Sea, the officials said.
The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is transiting through IOR. During the passage, #IndianNavy units undertook Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with #USNavy.— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) July 20, 2020
Indian Navy had also conducted similar PASSEXs with #JMSDF and #FrenchNavy in recent past.@USNavy@SpokespersonMoD @MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/ntj5gFFNqC
The USS Nimitz is the world's largest warship and the exercise between the two navies assumed significance as it took place in the midst of China's renewed military assertiveness in eastern Ladakh as well as in South China Sea. India carried out similar exercises with the Japanese navy last month.
The Indian Navy has increased its surveillance missions and beefed up operational deployment in the Indian Ocean region in the wake of the country's bitter border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh. The Indian Navy is also ramping up its operational cooperation with various friendly naval forces like the US Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force in view of the fast evolving regional security landscape, the officials said.
Navies from the US, India, Australia, Japan and France have been deepening their mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region in view of China's growing attempt to expand military influence in the resource rich region. Following escalation in tension between India and China in eastern Ladakh, the government put all the three forces on high alert. The Indian Navy was asked to raise its alert-level in the Indian Ocean Region where Chinese Navy has been making regular forays.