Malabar Exercise 2020: Malabar Naval Exercise began today. The quadrilateral event is taking place at a time when India is witnessing face-off with China and border issues with Pakistan. The 24th edition of the MALABAR naval exercise is also being held during the prevalent Coronavirus pandemic and extra precautions coupled with strict measures are being taken to keep the COVID-19 threat at bay. This year, Malabar Exercise 2020 has been planned on a ‘non-contact – at sea’ format, the Ministry of Defence has stated.
Malabar Exercise 2020 site: Phase 1 of the Malabar Naval Exercise is being held off Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal. Phase 2 of the Malabar Naval Exercise is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea.
Malabar Exercise 2020 date, schedule: The Phase 1 of the Malabar Naval Exercise has begun November 3 i.e today and will culminate on November 6. Phase 2 of the Malabar Naval Exercise is scheduled to be conducted in mid-November 2020, the Defence Ministry said.
Malabar Exercise 2020 participating countries
Indian Navy (IN), United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) are participating in Phase 1 of the Malabar Naval Exercise 2020. The participants of Exercise Malabar 2020 are engaged to enhance safety and security in the maritime domain. They collectively support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules-based international order, the Ministry of Defence said.
Main attractions of Malabar exercise 2020
Phase-1 of Malabar exercise 2020 will witness the participation of Indian Navy units with United States Ship (USS) John S McCain (Guided-missile destroyer), Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Ballarat (long-range frigates) with integral MH-60 helicopter, and Japan Maritime Self Defence Ship (JMSDF) Onami (Destroyer) with integral SH-60 helicopter, according to details provided by the Ministry of Defence.
The Indian Navy participation in Phase 1 will be led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. Indian Navy units participating in the exercise include destroyer Ranvijay, frigate Shivalik, Off-Shore Patrol Vessel Sukanya, Fleet Support Ship Shakti and submarine Sindhuraj. In addition, Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk, long-range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, and helicopters will also be participating in the exercise, as per details provided by the Ministry of Defence.
Significace of Malabar exercise 2020
Amidst growing animosity with China and Pakistan, the quadrilateral event of such magnitude becomes crucial in sending out a stern message. For the first time over a decade, all four QUAD Countries — Japan, India, Australia and the US — are taking part in Phase 1 of Malabar exercise 2020. While the Malabar Naval exercises started in 1992 as a bilateral Indian Navy-US Navy exercise, Japan became a regular participant in 2015. In 2007, Indian, Japanese, US, Australian and Singapore navies participated. However, from 2008, Australia stopped its participation.
“As India Seeks to increase cooperation with other countries in the maritime security domain and in the light of increased defence cooperation with Australia, Malabar 2020 will see the participation of the Australian Navy,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.