Indian Navy to participate in Exercise Malabar in Japan next month

The “Yudh Abhyas” exercise between India and the American army will take place at the end of October in Uttarakhand

The “Yudh Abhyas” exercise between India and the American army will take place at the end of October in Uttarakhand

Japan will host the 2022 edition of the Malabar naval exercise comprising India, Australia, Japan and the United States in the second week of November, according to official sources. The Indian Navy will also participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR) held in the first week of November to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), an official source said.

This is the latest in a series of bilateral and multilateral exercises that the Indian Armed Forces have participated in recently. At the end of October, the bilateral Indo-US Army exercise “Yudh Abhyas” is to be held in high altitude areas of Uttarakhand, about 100 km (air distance) from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“The initial and final planning conferences for Malabar are complete. The exercise is to be held from November 8 to 18,” a second official source said. While the navy has yet to release details on its involvement, two frontline warships and a P-8I maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) are likely to be deployed, it has been reported.

Australia is keen to host the exercise but it has not yet been accepted by partner nations, two official sources said. Australia was included as a regular member in Ex Malabar in 2020.

The IFR to be held in the first week of November is conducted during the 18th Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) ‘strategic discussion’ and ‘plenary session’ being hosted by Japan from November 5-10, according to a statement from the Brunei Royal Navy. However, it is not yet clear whether India will participate in WPNS. A decision from the Ministry of Defense is expected, a defense source said in the middle of last week.

A WPNS 2022 workshop was hosted by Japan in June and saw the participation of all 20 WPNS member countries, including Australia, Japan and the United States, and six observer countries: Bangladesh, Colombia, India. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom, according to the Royal Brunei Navy.

SCO scope

As the engagement with Quad countries and Indo-Pacific countries continues, India had sent an army contingent for the multilateral command and strategic exercise Vostok – 2022 in the military district of the East in Russia in early September, which also saw Chinese participation. People’s Liberation Army.

Later this month, Pakistan is due to participate in counter-terrorism drills hosted by India under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) regional counter-terrorism structure.

Last month, the Indian Navy took part in the multinational exercise Kakadu organized by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in Darwin for which it sent the INS Satpura and a P-8I MPA. The exercise, which took place from September 12 to 25, saw the participation of 34 aircraft from more than 20 nations.

India and Japan held the sixth edition of the bilateral naval exercise Jimex-2022 in September off Visakhapatnam.

Similarly, in early September, the Indian Air Force (IAF) joined 16 other nations, including Quad partner nations, for Exercise Pitch Black, the biennial exercise hosted by the Australian Air Force, which saw the participation of about 100 aircraft and 2,500 soldiers. from 17 nations.

While external engagements are at a high pace, the IAF’s bi-annual firepower display “Vayu Shakti” remains postponed amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. It was to be held in March but was postponed “due to the evolution of the situation”.

At the same time, Australia’s flagship regional engagement activities, Indo-Pacific Endeavor (IPE), are currently underway. As part of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour, five ships, 11 helicopters and nearly 1,800 people will travel to 14 countries, including India, across Southeast Asia and the Northeast Ocean. Indian from September 26 to November 26, according to the Australian Department of Defence. In this context, the RAN ship HMAS Adelaide should call at Visakhapatnam at the end of the month.

Highlights of the “Joint Guidance for the Australia – India Navy to Navy Relationship” document signed between the Indian Navy and the RAN in August 2021 include close cooperation in regional and multilateral fora including the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium ( IONS), Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Subordinate Expert Working Groups under the ASEAN Defense Ministers Plus Meeting.

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