Context

  • India join naval exercise at Malabar makes China insecure.

History

  • In the year 1992, Malabar exercise kicked off which was 23 years ago, a bilateral drill between India and U.S.
  • In the year 2015, Japan became the permanent member of the Malabar exercise.
  • The main aim of the exercise remained to address the shared security threat to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.
  • Japan since 2007 have participated as a non-permanent member along with Australia and Singapore.

Recent developments

  • On 10th July, 2017 India, Japan and United States kicked off the Malabar naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The tri-lateral naval exercise is the widest in scope than all its previous editions and will continue for 10 days.

Aim of the exercise

  • Malabar 2017 emanates at a crucial time when the Chinese navy is trying hard to increase its presence in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The main aim of the exercise is to address the shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.
  • Primary emphasis this year is on anti-submarine warfare.

Warships put to use this year:

Most important warships

  • India, Japan, and U.S., all three have put forth their largest warships in the field among the the 20-odd warships taking part in the exercise.
  • The United States is getting in the world’s largest aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz.
  • The Indian Navy’s 44,570 tonne aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, will be put forth.
  • Japan’s largest 27,000 tonne helicopter carrier Izumo.

US Navy other warships

  • The guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59)
  • Guided-missile destroyers USS Howard (DDG 83)
  • USS Shoup (DDG 86)
  • USS Kidd (DDG 100)
  • P-8A Poseidon aircraft
  • Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine.

Indian other trusted warships

  • Two Made-in-India Shivalik class stealth frigates.
  • Two Russian-built Ranvir class destroyers.
  • The indigenous Kamorta class anti-submarine warfare corvette.
  • A Kora class multi-role corvette are going to be deployed.

Japan other ships

  • The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ships JS Sazanami (DD 113).

The drill

  • The drill will include both ashore and at-sea training.
  • The ashore training in Chennai will include expert exchanges carrier strike group operations.
  • Maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and visit, board, Landry Jones – Oklahoma Sooners search and seizure (VBSS) operations, all will be part of the drill.
  • The at-sea portions that will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal are designed to advance participating nations’ military-to-military synchronization.
  • The capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment will be improvised.
  • Events planned during the at-sea portions include liaison officer professional exchanges and embarks, air defence exercises; medical evacuation drills and of course, anti-submarine warfare.

China’s resentment

  • China is thoroughly monitoring and seems unhappy about the ongoing Malabar naval exercises between India, the U.S. and Japan.
  • The Indian Navy’s mounting clout to detect Chinese submarines and surface ships in the Indian Ocean, using newly acquired weaponry from Washington disturbs China.
  • Chinese feel that their submarines are getting targeted.
  • Malabar 2017 comes at a time when there are high tensions between India and China over the Sikkim border.
  • The growth of Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean Region, China, who has been wary of the drills since a long time is keeping a close watch.
  • China keeping a watch sends a surveillance ship, The HaiwangXiang, to monitor the Malabar issue.

Conclusion

  • India on its part is also worried that China will step up activities in the Indian Ocean in response to the Malabar exercise.
  • China is already building infrastructure in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan, feeding India’s anxiety about being encircled.
  • China is worrisome for India,
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