Malabar war games: India, Japan and US to hold naval exercises

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New Delhi, July 5: Even as the stand-off between the armies of India and China continues in Sikkim, the Indian Navy will join Japan and US counterparts in the annual Malabar war games in the Indian Ocean from July 10 with a strong focus on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) amid increasing forays by Chinese submarines into the region.

INS Vikramaditya

In consonance with New Delhi's 'Act East Policy' and growing relations among India, US and Japan, all the three countries will be deploying their largest warships for the high-profile war games.

The tri-nation exercise will focus on combined carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, special forces, explosive ordnance disposal, helicopter operations and seizure operations. One of the main thrust areas of this 21st edition of Malabar will be "submarine-hunting".

Besides INS Vikramaditya, USS Nimitz aircraft carrier Japan's largest helicopter carrier JS Izumo, many other warships, submarines would take part in aimed at addressing shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

Sources said the US will be fielding its over 100,000-tonne USS Nimitz, a nuclear-powered super-carrier with its full complement of F/A-18 fighters. The 'carrier strike group' will include a Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser, a Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine and three to four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.

Japan is fielding its 27,000-tonne helicopter carrier Izumo and another warship for the intensive 10-day combat manoeuvres on the high seas off Chennai. Interestingly, the new Japanese warship, which can carry nine helicopters, is primarily meant for anti-submarine warfare.

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