The QUAD member countries are going to participate in Phase II of the Multilateral Maritime Ex-Malabar starting tomorrow. Interestingly, two of the QUAD members – the US and Australia are also part of the new military alliance AUKUS (Australia, the UK and the US) and are part of the second phase of the drill.
Who is deploying what?
The drills starting from October 12-15 will be the biggest in the waters close to India with the US sending in its Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson which will have fighter aircraft as well as two destroyers USS Lake Champlain and USS Stockdale.
Japan is deploying the Izumo-class helicopter carrier Kaga and the guided missile destroyer Murasame.
From the Indian Navy, INS Satpura, INS Ranvijay, a submarine and P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft are being deployed.
And, the Royal Australian Navy is going to be represented by HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Sirius.
Importance of the second phase
It comes at a time when China continues its aggression in the Indo-Pacific Region. Also, China has been sending its fighter jets close to the international space of Taiwan. The island nation has strong ties with the QUAD countries – India, Australia, Japan and the US.
The US and Australia are also part of the new military alliance AUKUS formed last month. This alliance, as has been reported earlier, was formed mainly to counter the growing presence of the Chinese navy in the Indo-Pacific. And towards this, Australia with the help of the US and UK will be building eight nuclear powered submarines which will be equipped with conventional weapons.
Just last month the first ever in-person QUAD Leaders Summit had taken place in Washington DC, where they all agreed to ensure inclusive and free Indo-Pacific, which would help in dealing with the growing Chinese presence.
And to bolster prosperity and security of the region, the leaders of the four countries had expressed their commitment to provide rule based order rooted in international law.
Focus of the Ex Malabar Phase II
Building upon the synergy, interoperability and co-ordination which were developed in the Phase I.
Anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions and weapons firing will be the highlight of the 25th edition of Ex Malabar.
As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, the Indian Navy in September had conducted bilateral exercises with Australia (AUSINDEX) and last week with Japan (JIMEX) in the Arabian Sea. And the idea was to further enhance interoperability between the friendly navies.