New Delhi – The second phase of Malabar war exercise of the QUAD countries with 70 warships, submarines and the aircraft carriers, USS Nimitz of the United States and INS Vikramaditya of the Indian Navy, started on Tuesday. As per analysts, India, the United States, Japan and Australia have delivered a direct message with these exercises to China. Only a few days ago, China had reacted sharply regarding the Australian participation in the Malabar war exercise. It is worth noting that the largest and the most lethal aircraft carrier USS Nimitz entered the Indian Ocean for the second time since the Galwan conflict. Only last month, another US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan participated in joint war exercises with the Indian warships.
The second phase of the Malabar exercise started in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday. The first phase was completed in the Bay of Bengal. The Indian Navy informed that this second phase of Malabar war exercise is more comprehensive and multipurpose than the first phase. The main feature of these war exercises will be air defence and cross deck flying operations. The MiG 29s on INS Vikramaditya and F-18s and E2C Hawkeye on USS Nimitz will be participating in the exercises. Anti-submarine warfare also is an essential part of war exercises.
Along with INS Vikramaditya, the Indian destroyers, INS Kolkata, INS Chennai, INS Talwar and INS Deepak also are participating in the practice. INS Khanduri, indigenously developed submarine of the Indian Navy, and P8I surveillance aircraft will also be participating in the war exercises. Real Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, Commanding officer of the Western Command of the Indian Navy, is leading the Indian fleet.
The Malabar war exercises are being held in the Indian Ocean while tension is reigning between India and China. The Malabar war exercises were started jointly by India and the United States in 1992. Thereafter, in 2009, Japan joined as a non-permanent member. China had reacted sharply regarding the participation of Japan. Therefore, India had refused Japanese and Australian participation, although, both the countries were willing to participate. But Japan was included in 2015, and from this year, Australia also will be a part of the exercises. China has opposed Australian inclusion in the Malabar war exercise. But for the first time, India has included Australia in the Malabar war exercises without paying any heed to the Chinese opposition, giving it a look of the QUAD naval cooperation. It is claimed that an appropriate message is being delivered to China through this.