New Delhi: The multilateral exercise Malabar 2022 between the navies of India, Japan, US and Australia commenced on November 9 with the opening ceremony hosted by the JMSDF onboard JS Hyuga at Yokosuka, Japan.
RAdm Sanjay Bhalla, FOCEF, led the Indian delegation comprising Commanding Officers and the crew of INS Shivalik and INS Kamorta. India is participating in the International Malabar Naval Exercise with two frontline indigenously built warships -Shivalik and Kamorta.
VAdm Yuasa Hideki Commander in Chief, Self Defense Fleet JMSDF, VAdm Karl Thomas Commander, US Navy Seventh Fleet and RAdm Jonathan Earley, Commander Australian Fleet also participated in the ceremony alongwith personnel from their respective navies.
Exercise Malabar was initiated in 1992 and the 30th edition of the exercise will witness four nations undertaking Anti-Submarine Warfare and anti-air warfare exercises, replenishment at sea among others. Complex surface, sub-surface, and air operations, including live firing drills are scheduled during the exercise.
The exercise is being conducted to strengthen cooperation and to contribute to realizing a “free and open ocean” through confidence-building and friendship with the navies of the WPNS member countries, as per JMSDF’s statement.
For the Malabar exercise, Japan has deployed five warships and a surveillance aircraft. America has fielded its Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, two other ships, a surveillance aircraft, and special operation force personnel. Indian Navy deployed two warships INS Shivalik, and INS Kamorta, a P-8I aircraft, and MARCOS (Marine Commandos) and Australia has two warships and an aircraft along with special forces. INS Shivalik is equipped with a wide range of electronics and sensors, loaded with Naval gun Klub and BRAHMOS supersonic anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine rocket launchers, close-in weapon systems and two HAL Dhruv or Sea King Mk. 42B helicopters. Along with this, it is capable of finding and destroying enemies, even in the depths of water.
INS Kamorta is equipped with a wide range of weapon systems – OTO Melara 76 mm main gun, and two AK-630 guns, 2 RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers and torpedo tubes capable of firing heavyweight torpedoes. It is the first warship to be equipped with the Kavach decoy system for protection against anti-ship missiles and can’t be traced in the radar and provides information on all submarines up to 200 km. It is capable of fighting nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare.