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Malabar Exercises begin on July 10; Indian US and Japanese naval vessels assemble at Chennai Port

The Malabar exercises of naval ships, aircrafts and naval personnel from United States, Japan and India will commence the week long naval exercises somewhere in North Indian Ocean from July 10.

The exercise an annual affair is seen as an attempt to contain the Chinese navy's constant forays into the Indian Ocean including its presence in Cocoa islands near Andaman Islands, Colombo and Hambantata ports in Sri Lanka and Gwador in Pakistan. The Chinese navy has also acquired interest in Djibourti port in Ethiopia right on the Red Sea on the entrance of Suez Canal.

Indian satellites have sighted several Chinese Naval Vessels in the Indian Ocean Region in the last two months. Two years ago a Chinese nuclear submarine docked at Sri Lanka's Hambantata port. This year too the Chinese Navy sought permission from Sri Lanka to dock its nuclear submarine at Colombo port at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on an official visit to Sri Lanka. The island government turned down request.

Participants in the Malabar exercise from the US side include the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Nimitz with embarked Carrier Air Wing 11, the guided missile cruiser USS Princeton, Guided Missile Destoyers USS Howard, USS Shoup and USS Kidd and P-8A Poseidon aircraft and Los Angeles class fast attack submarine.

The exercise will feature both ashore and at sea training.

The Japanese Maritime self defense force ships JS Izumo and JS Sazanamiwill be participating in the exercise. Indian navy is expected to be represented by the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

The vessels participating in the Malabar exercises have started arriving in Chennai port.


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