Major highlights of the Malabar Exercise 2016
India, the United States and Japan on 10 June 2016 began the annual exercise Malabar 2016. This is the 20th edition of Malabar Exercise that will be conducted till 17 June 2016 .
The main aim of this exercise is to boost the interoperability amongst the three navies and develop common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations.
About Malabar Exercise 2016
• Malabar 2016 will be conducted with the harbour phase at Sasebo and with the sea phase in the Pacific Ocean.
• The scope of MALABAR-16 includes professional interactions in harbour and a diverse range of activities at sea, including complex surface, sub-surface and air operations.
• This year, four Indian ships are participating in the exercise including INS Satpura, INS Sahyadri, INS Shakti and INS Kirch.
• The ships have embarked one Sea King 42B ASW helicopter and two Chetak utility helicopters.
• The US Navy will be represented by ships from CTF 70 of the USN 7th fleet, which is based at Yokosuka, Japan.
• The CTF will include the aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis (CVN 74), Ticonderoga class Cruiser USS Mobile Bay and Arleigh Burke class destroyers USS Stockdale and USS Chung Hoon.
• In addition, one nuclear powered submarine, carrier wing aircraft and Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft will also participate in the exercise.
• Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) will be represented by JS Hyuga, a helicopter carrier with SH 60 K integral helicopters and Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft.
• Additionally, the Special Forces (SF) of the three navies will also interact during the exercise.
The Malabar exercise began as a joint naval exercise between the United States and India back in 1992. It has been the subject of concern over the past few years because of its potential for expansion.
In 2015, Japan participated together with Washington and New Delhi as part of a longstanding effort to get Tokyo involved as a permanent member of the exercise.