India, US, Japan begin trilateral maritime exercise

New Delhi: India, the US and Japan on Thursday began the ‘Malabar 2019’ trilateral maritime exercise in the Pacific Ocean. The exercise, in which the Indian Navy has deployed two ships, will end on October 4.

Defence sources said two frontline indigenously developed ships — INS Sahyadri, INS Kiltan –have been deployed for the exercise. Sahyadri is a multi-purpose guided missile frigate while the Kiltan is an anti-submarine warfare corvette.

The Indian Navy’s Rear Admiral Suraj Berry, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, led the ships to Sasebo, Japan, where the exercise will be conducted.

Apart from the ships, a P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft was also sent to Japan for the exercise.

Officials said the US Navy is being represented by USS McCampbell, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine and a P8A long range maritime patrol aircraft.

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The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force has participated with the Izumo class helicopter destroyer JS Kaga, guided missile destroyers JS Samidare and Choukai and a P1 long-range maritime patrol aircraft.

According to officials, the objective of Malabar 2019, which is being conducted for the 33rd time, is to further strengthen naval ties between the three countries. The exercise also aims to enhance cooperation and inter-operability, based on shared values and principles, between the three Navies.

Complex maritime operations in the surface, sub-surface and air domains including anti-submarine warfare, anti-air and anti-surface firings, maritime interdiction operations will be conducted during the sea-phase of the exercise.

Besides, official visits, professional interactions, sports fixtures and social events will also be conducted during the harbour phase.

(IANS)

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