The second phase of the Malabar Naval exercise including Australia, Japan and the US, is scheduled to be held in the Arabian Sea today and will continue till Friday. INS Vikramaditya, along with the Navy’s Navy’s Carrier Battle Group, will participate in the war games with US’ Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, warships of Australia and Japan, informed Indian Navy spokesperson.

The first phase of the Malabar 2020 was held earlier this month off the Visakhapatnam coast. Australia participated in the mega exercise for the first time in 13 years, bringing all four Quad countries together for the military games.

The Indian Defence Ministry, in a statement last month, had said that “as India seeks to increase cooperation with other countries in the maritime security domain and in the light of increased defence cooperation with Australia, Malabar 2020 will see the participation of the Australian Navy.”

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Malabar, which began as a bilateral exercise between India and the US in 1992, became trilateral in 2015 with the entry of Japan. The first phase, held from November 3 to 6, witnessed complex and advanced naval exercises including surface, anti-submarine and anti-air warfare drills, cross deck flying along with weapon firing exercises.

On October 27, following the 2+2 dialogue with the US, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said, “We also agreed that upholding the rules-based international order, respecting the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the international seas and upholding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states are essential.. Our defence cooperation is intended to further these objectives. Both sides welcomed Australia joining the forthcoming Malabar Exercise.”

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