US, India, Japan set to start joint naval exercises in Pacific Ocean

US, India, Japan set to start joint naval exercise in Pacific Ocean

NEW DELHI, India: The United States, India and Japan will start their joint naval exercises ‘the Malabar Exercise’ in the Pacific Ocean on Thursday which will continue until July 30.

In the week-long exercises, three Indian ships namely a frigate, a destroyer and a supply ship along with 700-800 servicemen are taking part while among the US ships taking part in the war games is its latest aircraft carrier USS George Washington, destroyers USS Shiloh and John S McCain and nuclear submarine USS Columbus.

Likewise, Japan has fielded its destroyers, JS Kurama and JS Ashigara besides US-2i ShinMaywa amphibious aircraft.

A senior Indian officer said that “Malabar is a complex, high-end exercise designed to enhance maritime cooperation and interoperability among the participating navies.”

This is the third time that Japan is taking part in the Malabar naval exercises, which India and the US have been holding regularly every year since 1992 except for a brief interregnum after the 1998 Pokhran II nuclear tests.