Second phase of Malabar Naval Exercise; discussions underway on making Australia permanent invitee

Exercise Malabar, the naval exercise that involves warships of the Indian, American, Japanese and Australian navies, will begin in the Bay of Bengal very shortly

This is going to be the second phase of Malabar this year, the first concluding in Guam, in the Pacific Ocean, recently. This is one of the rare occasions since Malabar began as an Indo-US exercise in 1992, that it is being held in two phases and in two areas, signifying an increase in size and complexity of the effort.

As the four countries ready for the exercise, there are discussions about whether Australia can be a permanent invitee. In the past, Australia had taken part, and then, dropped out, before rejoining last year.

The Malabar interaction is happening as the Chinese Navy, growing very quickly, is increasingly active in the South China Sea and showing, an interest in being present in strength in the Indian Ocean region. The Chinese are planning for four aircraft carriers and a vastly expanded nuclear submarine fleet

Right after the second phase of Malabar, another naval exercise, involving a Royal Navy carrier and other warships from the Malabar group is also being planned. The Royal Navy carrier, the Queen Elizabeth, is already in the Indian Ocean area along with supporting warships.


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