The navies of India, Japan, Australia and the US concluded the 26th edition of the multinational maritime exercise ”MALABAR 22” in the seas off Japan yesterday. This edition also marked the 30th anniversary of the exercise and was hosted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
The Indian Navy was represented by Eastern Fleet ships Shivalik and Kamorta led by Rear Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
The Malabar series of exercises began in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between the navies of India and the US and gained further prominence after the navies of Australia and Japan joined the drills.
The sea phase of ”MALABAR 22” was conducted over a period of five days near Yokosuka and witnessed live weapon firings, surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills and tactical procedures. Another highlight of the sea phase was the conduct of the ”War at Sea” exercise which enabled all four navies to consolidate interoperability and hone their tactical skills.
The high-tempo exercise saw the participation of eleven surface ships, including a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with its integral air elements, along with four long-range maritime patrol aircraft, integral helicopters and two submarines. The exercise also involved the exchange of ‘Sea Riders’ between various participating ships.
Apart from operational drills and exercises, the bilateral logistics support agreements between the participating countries were validated during this edition of exercise Malabar.
The exercise helped enhance understanding of each others’ operational methodologies and ability to cooperate to tackle myriad maritime challenges, the Ministry of Defence said.