India bid to forge a quad alliance in the Indo-Pacific region is set to be formalised with the Malabar series of naval exercises to be held later this year.

In a statement, the defence ministry said that this year's edition of Malabar exercises with include navies of the US, Japan and Australia training alongside their Indian counterparts.

Malabar Exercise was started in 1992 as a bilateral India-US naval exercise.

Japan joined the Naval exercise in 2015.

This annual exercise has been conducted off the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea in 2018, off the coast the Japan in 2019 and is expected to be held in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea later this year.

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, the defence ministry statement said.

This year, the exercise has been planned on a 'non-contact -- at sea' format. The exercise will strengthen the coordination between the navies of the participating countries.

The statements further said that participants of Exercise Malabar 2020 are engaging to enhance safety and security in the maritime domain. They collectively support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules based international order.