Indo-US naval wargames on Western seaboard

August 21st, 2008 - 7:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

By Praful Kumar Singh

New Delhi, Aug 21 (ANI): The 12 th edition of advance Malabar exercise between the Indo-US navies will take place in the Arabian Sea from October 15-24, showcasing the increasing bonhomie between the two nations in the changing security paradigm.

The new Malabar series of wargames are being held shortly after frontline Indian Air Force fighters, Sukhoi-30MKI took part in fighter exercises at the Nellis Air Base in the Nevada Desert of the United States, taking military cooperation between the two countries to a new high.

The naval wargames will be complex in nature involving anti-submarine operations, submarine to submarine operations, flying operations and cross deck embarkations. The exercise will help in providing a greater value addition, a senior naval official said.

The US Navy flotilla will be led by one of the most powerful nuclear-powered super carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which has Carrier Strike Group-7 on board, in simulated war games and combat manoeuvres on the countrys western seaboard from October 15-24.

The US Navy will be fielding the USS Ronald Reagan, guided-missile frigate Thach, guided-missile destroyers USS Gridley, nuclear submarine USS Springfield and USNS Decatur and Bridge, and guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville, a senior naval officer said.

During the exercise, alternating control and command will also take place, under which the Indian fleet commander will take over the command of the US fleet and vice versa, the official added.

The Malabar series of exercise will also see participation by latest guided missile cruisers, destroyers and frigates as well as long range maritime F-18 and Jaguar fighters.

One Rajput class ship and the INS Talwar, INS Godavari, INS Brahmaputra, INS Betwa, INS Aditya as well as the Shishumar class submarine will take on the US Navy ships in the exercise.

The Long Range Maritime Patrol (LRMP) TU-142M of the Indian Navy and P-3C Orions from the US Navy and ship borne helicopters — Sea King, Kamov and Chetak –will also participate in the exercise.

The USS Ronald Reagan has started sailing from Japan and will reach Indias west coast after calls in other countries. The USS Springfield will not be carrying any ballistic missiles.

Last year, the Indian Navy hosted Malabar 2007 off the east coast in the Bay of Bengal with the navies of the US, Australia, Japan and Singapore participating in it.

The Left parties, which withdrew support to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh government in July, vehemently opposed the Malabar 2007. (ANI)

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