New Delhi: US super carrier USS Nimitz, India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and Japanese helicopter carrier JS Izumo will be coming together in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) from July 10 to hunt down hostile submarines and even practice how to launch and sustain expeditionary forces across long distances.
The eight-day-long joint military exercise involving India, Japan and the United States – known as the Malabar Exercise – will go on till July 17 in the Bay of Bengal.
At a time when Chinese nuclear and conventional submarines are being increasingly spotted in the Indian Ocean, the focus on anti-submarine warfare in the joint annual military exercise assumes even greater significance.
The Malabar Exercise will witness at least 20 major warships from the three countries participating in the event. This edition of the Malabar – the 21st – is one of the biggest exercises conducted in the Indian Ocean Region. The presence of two aircraft carriers and a helicopter carrier in Malabar is rare. The JS Izumo helicopter carrier is the largest warship of Japan.
While India will field its frontline warships like the Kolkata Class stealth destroyers, US-made long range maritime surveillance platforms like the P8i, anti-submarine warfare helicopters like the Sea King Helicopters, the United States will be fielding a Los Angeles class nuclear powered fast attack submarine USS Princeton – a Ticondergo- class A guided missile cruiser, and USS Howard – Arleigh Burke Class destroyer among other assets. And apart from the Japanese helicopter carrier Izumo, Japanese destroyer Sazanami will also participate in the exercise.