Ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2015

Ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2015 will be gauged from the prism, the grow­ing em­i­nence of indo-us strate­gic part­ner­ship to the lev­els not seen be­fore

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - Rear Ad­mi­ral Sushil Ram­say (Retd)

Ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2015 will be gauged from the prism, the grow­ing em­i­nence of Indo-US strate­gic part­ner­ship to the lev­els not seen be­fore.

ORig­i­nally EX­ER­CISE MAL­ABAR WAS con­ceived as a naval ex­er­cise be­tween the us navy and the in­dian navy (in). how­ever, over the years the scope of bi­lat­eral naval ex­er­cises has ex­panded to in­clude Ja­pan's Mar­itime self-de­fense Forces (JMSDF), navies of aus­tralia and sin­ga­pore, de­pend­ing upon avail­abil­ity. the first edi­tion of bi­lat­eral Mal­abar ex­er­cises was in 1992 and in­cluded di­verse ac­tiv­i­ties, rang­ing from fighter com­bat oper­a­tions from air­craft car­ri­ers, through Mar­itime in­ter­dic­tion Oper­a­tions ex­er­cises, etc.

It was for the first time dur­ing Mal­abar 2004 that a nu­clear pow­ered sub­ma­rine of los an­ge­les class was de­puted by the us. soon there­after for Mal­abar 2005, nu­clear pow­ered air­craft car­rier uss nimitz made its pres­ence. how­ever, Mal­abar 2007 wit­nessed the largest par­tic­i­pa­tion of 13 war­ships of us navy, in­clud­ing nu­clear-pow­ered air­craft car­rier, uss nimitz, which was protested when an­chored off Chennai in July 2007. the other us war­ships were a con­ven­tional air­craft car­rier uss Kitty hawk, nu­cle­ar­pow­ered sub­ma­rine uss Chicago, two guided mis­sile cruis­ers and six guided mis­sile de­stroy­ers. in de­puted eight war­ships to in­clude air­craft car­rier ins Vi­raat, guided mis­sile de­stroy­ers Mysore, Rana, Ra­jput and fleet tanker INS Jy­oti, in ad­di­tion to a mis­sile corvette ins Kuthar. aus­tralian navy sent a fri­gate and a tanker, two de­stroy­ers from Ja­pan and one de­stroyer from sin­ga­pore. this was the largest line up of war­ships par­tic­i­pat­ing in ex­er­cise Mal­abar.

China had strongly protested against ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2007 in the bay of ben­gal since it was ex­panded to in­clude the aus­tralian, Ja­panese and sin­ga­porean navies. since then, China has al­ways viewed the mul­ti­lat­eral naval ex­er­cise in this re­gion as part of a grand se­cu­rity axis in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion to ‘con­tain’ it.

Con­se­quently, par­tic­i­pa­tion of JMSDF was re­stricted to 2009 and 2014 edi­tions of ex­er­cise Mal­abar which were held in north­west­ern Pa­cific. Ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2015 is be­ing viewed as sig­nif­i­cant enough for el­e­vat­ing the strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween the us and in­dia at least a few notches up. Par­tic­i­pa­tion of a nu­clear-pow­ered nimitz class air­craft car­rier and a nu­clear-pow­ered los an­ge­les class sub­ma­rine, in ad­di­tion to other two war­ships from the us navy is also greatly sig­nif­i­cant as the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter seeks us top-end tech­nolo­gies for in­dige­nous de­vel­op­ment of nu­clear pow­ered air­craft car­ri­ers and sub­marines in in­dia. the strong lob­bies on both sides seem to be work­ing vig­or­ously for tak­ing for­ward the emerg­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for co-de­vel­op­ment and in­dige­nous pro­duc­tion of plat­forms and sys­tems un­der the evolv­ing bi­lat­eral de­fence trade and tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tive.

in­deed, ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2015 will be gauged from the prism, the grow­ing em­i­nence of indo-us strate­gic part­ner­ship to the lev­els not seen be­fore. in this con­text the most sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment was the dou­ble quick time clear­ance by the Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on se­cu­rity for ac­quir­ing 22 apaches, long­bow gun­ships and 15 Chi­nook heavy-lift he­li­copters lan­guish­ing for a long time.

since its in­cep­tion in 1992, as a bi­lat­eral ex­er­cise be­tween the in­dian and us navies, the scope, com­plex­ity of oper­a­tions and level of par­tic­i­pa­tion has in­creased steadily in suc­ces­sive edi­tions of the in­di­aus Mal­abar naval ex­er­cise. the 18th edi­tion of the ex­er­cise was held in the Western Pa­cific in July 2014 in which JMSDF was in­vited to par­tic­i­pate.

19th edi­tion of the ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2015 was con­ducted in the bay of ben­gal from Oc­to­ber 14 to 19, 2015. the in­au­gu­ral ses­sion was the joint press con­fer­ence at Chennai on Oc­to­ber 14, 2015 of all com­man­ders of the par­tic­i­pat­ing navies. the scope of ex­er­cise Mal­abar in­cluded widerang­ing pro­fes­sional in­ter­ac­tions dur­ing the har­bour Phase and a di­verse range of op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties at sea dur­ing the sea Phase.

the us navy was rep­re­sented by the ships from Car­rier task Force (CTF) 70 of the USN 7th Fleet, which is based at yoko­suka, Ja­pan. the CTF com­prised the nimitz class air­craft car­rier, uss theodore Roo­sevelt, Ti­con­deroga class cruiser, uss nor­mandy and Free­dom class lit­toral com­bat ship, USS Forth Worth. In ad­di­tion, one Los an­ge­les class nu­clear pow­ered sub­ma­rine, uss City of Cor­pus Christi, F-18 air­craft from US Car­rier Air Wing and P-8A lon­grange mar­itime pa­trol air­craft ac­tively par­tic­i­pated in the ex­er­cise.

dur­ing ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2015, the in­dian navy was rep­re­sented by ins shiva­lik an in­dige­nous fri­gate; ins Ran­vi­jay, a guided mis­sile de­stroyer; ins betwa, an in­dige­nous fri­gate; and INS Shakti, a fleet sup­port ship. in ad­di­tion, one sind­hughosh class sub­ma­rine, ins sind­hud­hvaj, long-range mar­itime pa­trol air­craft P-8i and in­te­gral ro­tary-wing he­li­copters also ac­tively par­tic­i­pated in the tri­lat­eral ex­er­cise. the JMSDF was rep­re­sented by Js Fuyuzuki, a mis­sile de­stroyer with sh 60K in­te­gral he­li­copter.

ex­er­cise Mal­abar 2015 suc­ceeded in achiev­ing its ob­jec­tive of en­hanc­ing naval co­op­er­a­tion among im­por­tant navies of Indo-Pa­cific re­gions which helps in en­hanc­ing mu­tual un­der­stand­ing. shar­ing of best prac­tices by the three navies will strengthen their re­spec­tive ca­pac­i­ties and help cre­ate bet­ter syn­er­gies for ef­fec­tive and speedy ac­tion to deal with chal­lenges of dis­as­ter preven­tion and re­lief and mar­itime safety and se­cu­rity in the Indo-Pa­cific re­gion, for the ben­e­fit of the global mar­itime com­mu­nity.

The air­craft car­rier USS Theodore Roo­sevelt tran­sits along­side the In­dian Deepak class fleet tanker INS Shakti dur­ing a re­plen­ish­ment-at-sea ex­er­cise as the Ja­panese Mar­itime Self-De­fense Force Ak­izuki class de­stroyer JS Fuyuzuki ap­proaches dur­ing...

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