The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of the Indian Navy (IN) will be participating in the sea phase of the Malabar-2021 exercise from 26 to 29 August. The other navies involved in this exercise are the United States Navy (USN), the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The Malabar series of maritime exercises commenced in 1992 as an IN-USN bilateral exercise. In 2015, the JMSDF joined Malabar as a permanent member. The 2020 edition witnessed the participation of the Royal Australian Navy. This year marks the 25th edition of the Malabar exercise, being hosted by USN in the Western Pacific.
Representing the Eastern Naval Command at the Malabar-2021 exercise, the ships INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt and P8I patrol aircraft will be led by Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF). The US Navy will be represented by USS Barry, USNS Rappahannock, USNS Big Horn and P8A patrol aircraft. The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force will be represented by JS Kaga, Murasame and Shiranui, in addition to a submarine and P1 patrol aircraft. The Royal Australian Navy will be represented by HMAS Warramunga at Malabar-2021.
The two IN ships have sailed from Guam where they had participated in Operational Turnaround from 21 to 24 August. During this phase, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, had talks with his counterpart in the US Navy.
Malabar-21 would witness complex maritime exercises including anti-surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills, and other manoeuvres and tactical exercises. The exercise will provide an opportunity for the participating navies to derive benefits from each other’s expertise and experiences. The conduct of this exercise, during the Covid-19 global pandemic, shows the harmony between the participating navies and their shared vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.