The United States, India, Japan and Australia are set to launch a joint military exercise in the Bay of Bengal to counter China’s political and military influence. Navies from four countries will participate in this joint exercise called Malabar 2020. The practice is to be conducted in two phases this month. The first phase starts on Tuesday. This information came from the report of Indian broadcaster NDTV.
This is not the first Malabar practice in the Indo-Pacific region. Although the 24th edition was held this year, this year’s practice is important for several reasons. The exercise is being conducted amidst Sino-Indian tension on the Ladakh border. Furthermore, Australia is joining it again after 13 years. Clearly, they aim to counter China’s growing influence.
According to a statement by the Press Information Bureau of India, the first phase of the two-stage Malabar Naval Exercise will run from 3 November to 8 November off the coast of Visakhapatnam. In this exercise, the US Navy John S., a US Navy anti-missile warship. McCain will include MH-70 helicopters including Australia’s HMAS Balarat and Japan’s JMSDF’s Onami (destroyer).
Rear Admiral Sanjay Batsyan will lead the Indian Navy in the exercise. The Eastern Fleet will be led by destroyers Ranbijay, Frigate Shivalik, Patrol Ship Sukanya and Submarine Sindhuraj. India’s state-of-the-art drones and helicopters will also be involved in the exercise.
After the first phase of the exercise, the second phase of the Malabar 2020 Navy will be practiced in the Arabian Sea in mid-November.