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India, Japan, Australia, US commence 4-day annual maritime exercise in Pacific sea

China sees QUAD as a grouping of four nations against its influence in the Indo-Pacific and the South China Sea. 

India Japan, Australia, US commence 4-day annual maritime exercise in Pacific sea-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Aug 26, 2021, 11:53 AM IST
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New Delhi: In the face of China’s aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific region, the navies of India, Japan, Australia and the US — the grouping also known as QUAD, commenced their 4-day annual maritime exercise Malabar off Philippines sea in the western Pacific from August 26. 

A day ago, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and US Navy’s Indo-Pacific command chief Admiral John C Aquilino did not rule out inclusion of more “like minded” nations into the QUAD. 

China sees QUAD as a grouping of four nations against its influence in the Indo-Pacific and the South China Sea. 

The two military commander, at an event organised by Delhi-based Think Tank ORF, expressed grave concern over the way the Chinese have been modernising and expanding its military capabilities. 

China’s intent behind the “largest military build-up since World War-II, in both the conventional and nuclear domains is unclear and remains to be seen, Adm Aquiliono said.

“Words from the PLA do not match their deed,” he added.  

Malabar series of maritime exercise commenced in 1992 as an Indian and the US Navies exercise. In 2015, the Japanese Navy joined the wargame as a permanent member while the Australian joined it in 2020.

The Indian Navy’s participation includes INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt and P8I patrol aircraft led by Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF).

The US Navy is being represented by USS Barry, USNS Rappahannock, USNS Big Horn and P8A patrol aircraft while the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force is being led by JS Kaga, Murasame and Shiranui, in addition to a submarine and P1 patrol aircraft. 

The Royal Australian Navy is being represented by HMAS Warramunga.

The Indian warships were in Guam where they participated in Operational Turn Around from August 21-24.

Malabar-21 will witness a complex exercises including anti-surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drill, and other manoeuvres and tactical exercises, Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.

The exercise will provide an opportunity for participating navies to derive benefit from each other’s expertise and experiences, he said.

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