Mon, 06 Dec 2021

New Delhi [India], October 12 (ANI): The second phase of Naval Exercise Malabar 21 kicked off in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday for a "free, open and inclusive" Indo-Pacific.

"Phase 2 of Malabar_21 kicks off in Bay of Bengal between India, United States, Japan, and Australia. Free Open and Inclusive IndoPacific BridgesofFriendship MaritimePartnership NavalCooperation Interoperability," tweeted the Indian Navy spokesperson today.

The Indian Navy (IN) is participating in the sea phase of Exercise Malabar 2021 along with the US Navy (USN), Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Ministry of Defence had informed earlier.

The exercise is being conducted in the Bay of Bengal from October 12 - 15, 2021. The first phase of the exercise was conducted in the Philippines Sea from August 26 - 29, 2021.

The second phase of the exercise would build upon the synergy, coordination and inter-operability developed during the first phase of the exercise and would focus on advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions and weapon firings.

The Indian Navy's participation includes INS Ranvijay, INS Satpura, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a Submarine. The US Navy will be represented by the Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson along with two destroyers, USS Lake Champlain and USS Stockdale. The JMSDF will be represented by JS Kaga and JS Murasame. Whilst, the Royal Australian Navy will be represented by HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Sirius.

The Malabar series of exercises, which began as an annual bilateral naval exercise between India and the US in 1992, has seen increasing scope and complexity over the years.

The 25th edition of Malabar, being conducted in two phases, while observing all protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, is reflective of the commitment of the participating countries to support a free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific as well as a rules-based international order. (ANI)

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