Indo-US joint naval exercise Malabar-08, the twelfth of the series is presently going on in the Arabian Sea. The annual Malabar series of exercises were started in 1992 and are held regularly from 2002. Unlike last year, Malabar-08 is strictly a bilateral exercise.
Some of the interesting features of Malabar-08 are:
- Being conducted as per the last India – USA Framework for Maritime Security Cooperation signed in 2006.
- The scope of Malabar exercise includes diverse activities such as gun-firing, fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers, combating the scourge of terror through Maritime Interdiction Operations exercises.
- The US Navy is being represented by the Ronald Reagan Strike Group (RRSG) of the US Navy 7th Fleet which is based at Yokosuka, Japan. The RRSG comprises of
- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), nuclear powered aircraft carrier
- USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), guided-missile cruiser
- USS Gridley (DDG-101), guided-missile destroyer
- USS Decatur (DDG-73), guided-missile destroyer
- USS Thach (FFG-43), guided-missile frigate
- USS Bridge (AOE 10), fast combat support ship (tanker).
- In addition, one Los Angeles-class submarine USS Springfield (SSN 761) and one P3C Orion aircraft are also part of the exercise.
- The Indian Navy is being represented by
- INS Mumbai, an indigenous Delhi Class guided missile destroyer
- INS Rana, a Rajput Class guided missile destroyer
- four guided missile frigates: INS Talwar, Godavari, Brahmaputra and Betwa
- In addition, INS Aditya an underway replenishment tanker, one Shishumar class submarine, Sea Harrier fighters, fixed and rotary wing aircraft are also part of the joint exercise.
- The thrust of the exercise this year would be on Surface/Air Operations, Advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Firings, VBSS (Visit Board Search and Seizure) and Submarine Operations.
A joint IN – USN Press conference is being scheduled on October 18 at Goa.
Last year Malabar exercise was conducted in April and September 2007. Here is last year Malabar 07-2 conducted at Bay of Bengal, news report from US Navy. Also here is a report on Post Malabar 2007 appraisal for India by Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
Read more about Malabar-08 from Press Information Bureau.
Post in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:
Update: October 19
About 2,500 personnel from the Indian Navy and about 6,000 personnel from U.S Navy are participating in Malabar-08 off Goa. Indian Airforce will also participate in the exercise. For some photographs and more information, read Goa Blog.
Also there is 22 year old George Kunthara of Indian origin officer onboard USS Chancellorsville taking part in Malabar-08. Read more from The Times of India.
Update: October 22
“US and its Coalition ships are regularly deployed in Gulf of Aden and along the African coast to act as a deterrent to the pirates operating there, said Captain Norton, the commanding officer of Ronald Reagan, which is participating in the Indo-US naval exercise Malabar-08. Read more from Indian Express and Rediff News.
Also here is a photograph of Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) firing a round from the bow 5-Inch/54-caliber (Mk 45) gun during a weapons firing exercise as part of the Malabar 2008. Alongwith, Chancellorsville three Indian Navy frigates, INS Godavari (F20), INS Brahmaputra (F31) and INS Beas (F39), fired 5-inch guns and 25mm guns during the exercise. View the photograph from U.S Navy.
Update: October 23
Now there is political interference also to Malabar-08. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has said the party would organise protests all along the west coast of the country against the India-US Naval exercises Malabar-08 being conducted in the Arabian Sea. Read more from Web India 123.
Here is an amazing photograph of ships of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the Indian Navy Western Fleet falling into formation during Malabar-08. View photograph from U.S Navy.
Update: October 25
After hectic war games, nuclear powered submarine USS Springfield has docked at Goa and is expected to stay for a week. Read more from DD News.
For more photographs on Malabar-08, log on to Information Dissemination.
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