DELHI—The 14th “Malabar” exercise with frontline units of the U.S. Navy’s 7th fleet and the Indian navy’s Western Fleet are being conducted in the Arabian Sea from April 23-May 2.
The thrust of the exercise this year will be anti-submarine warfare, surface firings,maritime interdiction,board-search-and-seizure and submarine operations.
The Malabar exercises include a range of operational activities at sea. The U.S. Navy will be represented by ships from Combined Task Force (CTF) 70 of the Navy’s 7th Fleet, based at Yokosuka, Japan. The CTF will include the Cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67); destroyers USS Chaffee (DDG 90) and USS Lassen (DDG 82); and the frigate USS Curts (FFG 38). In addition, one Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Annapolis (SSN 760), two P-3C Orion aircraft and a 28-member U.S. Navy Special Forces team will participate.
The Indian navy will be represented by: guided-missile destroyer INS Mysore; three guided-missile frigates—INS Godavari, INS Brahmaputra and INS Tabar; one Shishumar-class submarine, INS Shankush; Sea Harrier fighters; and other aircraft will participate.Naval cooperation between India and the U.S. dates back to 1992. The U.S. Framework for Maritime Security Cooperation agreement signed in 2006 recommends that both navies periodically hold joint exercises to build interoperability,and share best practices.
The Indian navy says the interoperability achieved as a result of these exercises has proven to be beneficial, particularly during anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and during humanitarian assistance and disaster operations such as those that followed the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
- Neelam Mathews (firstname.lastname@example.org)