Tri-Nation Malabar Naval Exercise Concludes

The US, Japanese and Indian navies today concluded the ‘Malabar Naval Exercise’ aimed at achieving deeper military ties between the three nations.
Officials said in a statement in Chennai today that the naval exercise featured 95 aircraft, 16 ships and two submarines.Various maneuveres were undertaken in rough seas in the Bay of Bengal.

Indian naval ship INS Vikramaditya, foreground and Japan’s helicopter carrier Izumo, behind participate in the Malabar 2017 tri-lateral exercises between India, Japan and US in the Bay of Bengal, Monday, July 17, 2017.

The exercise, which began on July 10, comprised both on shore and offshore activities which included cross deck flying operations, refuelling across ships and crew handling procedures. The navies of the three countries undertook the exercise in rough seas and under challenging weather conditions.

Features of Malabar 2017

  • The 2017 Malabar exercise was the 21st edition of the exercise and conducted from 10 to 17 July 2017. This edition involved navies from India, USA and Japan. The exercise included a harbor phase at Chennai from 10 to 13 July 2017 and a sea phase from 14 to 17 July 2017 in the Bay of Bengal.
  • This edition focused on Aircraft Carrier operations, Air defense, Anti-submarine warfare (ASW), Surface warfare, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Search and Rescue (SAR), joint and tactical procedures. There was also joint training between the naval special forces of the Indian and US Navies at INS Karna, Visakhapatnam.• A total of 16 ships, 2 submarines and 95 aircraft participated in this exercise. It was the first exercise between the three countries which involved three aircraft carriers.• The Indian Navy was represented by the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and its air wing, a guided missile destroyer INS Ranvir, two indigenous stealth frigates INS Shivalik and INS Sahyadri, a ASW corvette INS Kamorta, two missile corvettes INS Kora and INS Kirpan, one Sindhughosh class submarine, fleet tanker INS Jyoti and a Poseidon P8I aircraft.

    • The American Navy was represented by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN68) and its air wing, a guided missile cruise USS Princeton (CG59), three guided missile destroyers USS Howard (DDG83)USS Shoup (DDG86) and USS Kidd (DDG100), a Los Angeles fast-attack submarine and a Poseidon P-8A aircraft.

    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) was represented by a a helicopter carrier JS Izumo (DDH 183) and its air wing and a missile destroyer JS Sazanami (DD1 13).

About Malabar (Naval Exercise)

Exercise Malabar is a trilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners. Originally a bilateral exercise between India and the United States, Japan became a permanent partner in 2015. Past non-permanent participants are Australia and Singapore. The annual Malabar series began in 1992 and includes diverse activities, ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises.


Malabar Exercise began as an Indo-US bilateral naval drill in 1992. when the Americans suspended exercises after India tested nuclear weapons. However, the United States renewed military contacts following the September 11 attacks when India joined President George W Bush’s campaign against international terrorism.

Three exercises were conducted before 1998, Since then it is held annually. Japan had formally joined the exercise as a permanent participant in 2015. The primary aim of this multilateral exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the three navies and develop common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations and deepen defence relations. In 2007, the exercise also saw participation of Australia and Singapore. All the participating nations in the exercise have clarified earlier that the Malabar series is not aimed at any specific country.

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