Cheni, July 10: The tri-tion joint val exercise Malabar 2017 is not targeted at Chi or connected to the border stand-off between India and Chi, but is an exercise to enhance interoperability between the vies of India, US and Japan, senior officials said here on Monday. The Malabar joint val exercise is a series of exercises, initiated in 1992 between the Indian and the US vies. The exercise has grown in scope and complexity into a multifaceted exercise with the participation of Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JKSDF).
Speaking to the media here, Indian vy’s Vice Admiral H.C.S. Bisht said: “The joint val exercise is not connected to the border stand-off between the Indian and Chinese forces. The Malabar exercise process starts a year in advance.”
He said the exercise is for interoperability as well as to act as a deterrence to non-state actors. The prevention of non-state actors from carrying out their actions is a spin-off benefit of such an exercise.
Adding to that, Rear Admiral William D. Byrne, Commander, US Strike Group 11, said the only message that is sent from the Malabar exercise is that “together we can elimite miscalculations as to who we are and what are our capabilities”. Bisht said the three vies are not ganging up against Chi as the Malabar exercise was started way back in 1992.
The week-long joint val exercise between July 10-17 will see the participation of 16 ships from three countries, two submarines and more than 95 aircraft. Queried about the presence of Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean, Bisht said the Indian vy has the capability to monitor the movement of ships.
According to Bisht, a joint val exercise with Australia is happening and even two weeks back there was a joint exercise with the Australian vy. Officials said the thrust of the exercise at sea this year would be on aircraft carrier operations, air defence, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, visit board search and seizure, search and rescue, joint manoeuvres and tactical procedures.
Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is participating in the exercise for the first time. The other ships belonging Indian vy participating in the exercise are guided missile destroyer Ranvir, indigenous stealth frigates Shivalik and Sahyadri, indigenous anti-submarine warfare corvette Kamorta, missile corvettes Kora and Kirpan and one Sindhughosh class submarine, fleet tanker INS Jyoti and long range maritime patrol aircraft P8I. (IANS)