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India, Japan, US naval exercise Malabar begins on September 26

File Photo. Photograph:( ANI )

ANI New Delhi, India Sep 25, 2019, 05.36 PM (IST)

The 23rd edition of trilateral maritime exercise 'Malabar' between navies of India, Japan, and the US will begin on Thursday off the coast of Japan.

 A Defence Ministry release said two frontline indigenously designed and built Indian naval ships multi-purpose guided-missile frigate Sahyadri and ASW Corvette Kiltan have arrived at Sasebo to participate in the exercise.

In addition to the ships, a 'P8I' Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft has also reached Japan for the exercise.

The release said the participation of Indian naval ships and aircraft in the exercise would significantly bolster the strong maritime bonds of friendship between the three countries and "contribute to security and stability in the region".

The US Navy is being represented by USS McCampbell, a Los Angeles-Class Attack Submarine, and a 'P8A' Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

The JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force) would be participating with its Izumo class helicopter destroyer JS Kaga, guided-missile destroyers JS Samidare and Choukai and a 'P1' Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

Malabar 2019 would endeavour to further strengthen India-Japan-US naval cooperation and enhance interoperability, based on shared values and principles.

The exercise would involve complex maritime operations in the surface, sub-surface and air domains and focus on anti-submarine warfare, anti-air and anti-surface firings, maritime interdiction operations (MIO) including visit board search and seizure (VBSS) and tactical scenario-based exercise at sea.

In addition, the partner navies would conduct official protocol visits, professional interactions including subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE), reciprocal ship visits, sports fixtures, and social events during the harbour phase.

The exercise will conclude on October 4.