Politics, Security

MALABAR- Expanding Naval footprint

In July of 2017, one of the largest naval exercises in the history was carried out in the vast expanses of the Indian Ocean.

India, Japan and the United States participated in the exercises.

The three countries come together in the Indian Ocean for the 21st edition of the Malabar exercise — Malabar 2017

  • Naval co-operation between India, US & Japan epitomises strong, resilient relationship
  • MALABAR series of exercises were initiated in 1992 between Indian and US Navies
  • Malabar has grown in scope, complexity and participation into a multifaceted exercise
  • 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 starts in Bay of Bengal
  • 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 being conducted from 10 to 17 July 2017


  • This year’s Malabar exercises are the widest in scope till date
  • Malabar 2017 involves US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, India’s carrier INS Vikramaditya
  • Malabar 2017 also involves Japan’s helicopter carrier Izumo
  • One area of focus of the exercises is anti-submarine warfare
  • PLA Navy’s submarines are an increasingly frequent presence in Indian Ocean Region
  • Japan’s inclusion in exercise since 2014 has been source of concern for China
  • China has in past pressured India on multilateral exercises, seeing them aimed at Beijing
  • China bristled at past inclusions of Australia & Singapore Malabar exercise
  • China last month welcomed India’s decision to not include Australia in the drills

Source: Asian Defence News

The primary aim of this exercise is:

  • Increase interoperability amongst the three navies
  • Develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations

The scope of MALABAR-17 includes:

  1. Professional interactions during the Harbour Phase at Chennai from 10 to 13 July 2017
  2. Operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase from 14 to 17 July 17

The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on:

  • Aircraft Carrier operations
  • Air Defence
  • Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
  • Surface Warfare
  • Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS)
  • Search and Rescue
  • Joint Manoeuvres and Tactical procedures

The Indian Navy will be represented by:

  • Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya
  • Guided missile destroyer Ranvir
  • Indigenous stealth frigates Shivalik and Sahyadri
  • Indigenous ASW corvette Kamorta, missile corvettes Kora and Kirpan
  • One Sindhughosh class submarine
  • Fleet tanker INS Jyoti
  • Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I

The US Navy forces will include:

  • Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Nimitz
  • Ticonderoga-class cruiser Princeton
  • Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Kidd, Howard and Shoup along with integral helicopters
  • One Los Angeles-class attack submarine
  • One Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8A

The JMSDF (Japan) will be represented by

  • JS Izumo, a helicopter carrier with SH 60K helicopters
  • JS Sazanami, a missile destroyer with SH 60K integral helicopter

MALABAR-17 will be a milestone with participation of

  • 16 ships
  • 2 submarines
  • More than 95 aircraft

Source: Hindustan Times


  • MALABAR-17 will aims towards strengthening mutual confidence & inter-operability as well as sharing of best practices between Indian, Japanese & US Navies
  • The exercise is a demonstration of joint commitment of three nations to address common maritime challenges across spectrum of operations
  • The exercises will go a long way in enhancing maritime security in Indo-Pacific region, for benefit of global maritime community


Chinese media sees India-United States-Japan Malabar exercise as security threat

  • Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a measured reaction to the drills saying that it has no objection to the bilateral relations and hopes it is conducive to regional peace.
  • Spooked by Malabar naval exercise by India-US-Japan, China sends surveillance ship to keep a watch
  • Hope Malabar exercises not directed against third nation: China
  • We hope that this kind of relationship & cooperation will not be directed against third country and that it will be conducive to the regional peace and security: China FM

Source: Financial Express

Chinese media sees India-United States-Japan Malabar exercise as security threat

While China’s government last week played down its concerns over the India-United States-Japan Malabar naval exercise that kicks off today, State media in Beijing have hit out at the largest-ever drills as a threat to China’s “security concerns” and economic interests in the Indian ocean region.

  • On July 7, Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a measured reaction to the drills
  • China has ‘no objection to normal bilateral relations and cooperation among relevant countries’
  • China ‘hope[s] this kind of relations and cooperation is not directed at any third party and conducive to regional peace and stability.’
  • An editorial today in the official China Daily, the English-language mouthpiece of the government that is under the State Council, or Chinese cabinet, struck a different note, saying that even while India expressed security concerns over China’s road-building in the India-China-Bhutan trijunction, it was China that had reason to be concerned about its security.
  • The editorial said, “India, the United States and Japan have begun their 10-day Malabar naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal, which are the biggest of their kind so far, and the US approved a $365-million sale of military transport aircraft to India last week and a $2-billion deal for surveillance drones is in the works, it is
  • China should feel ‘security concerns’, given importance of Indian Ocean for trade & oil imports


  • Exercises underlined growing closeness in India-US ties & showed India was becoming an American “ally”: Chinese media
  • It is becoming clear that India is ready to serve as an ally of US rather than a swing power that honours independent, non-aligned diplomacy: Chinese Media
  • Beijing should remain vigilant against New Delhi’s moves while urging it to withdraw its troops from Chinese territory: Chinese Media

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