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MALABAR Begins With China on Minds

India-led naval exercise, Malabar Exercise 2017, has begun in the Bay of Bengal. Though the participating countries will not say it explicitly, but the implicit aim of the exercise is to send a strategic message to China that there are countries ready to counter its aggressive agenda.

The main aim of the Malabar 2017 is to enhance interoperability among the participating navies and increase mutual understanding.

The exercise began with the naval forces of India, Japan and United States participating in harbor phase.

In this phase the participating nations will familiarize themselves with the standard operating procedures of others and their way of work. This is to enhance the bonhomie among the members.
The second phase of the exercise involves sea phase which includes various operations like familiarization of submarines, air defence mechanisms, medical evacuation drills, communication exercise, search and rescue operations and surface warfare.

For Maritime Security
The United States, stated that the exercise is not aimed at any country but to enhance the maritime security in the region (Indo-Pacific region).

Japan, stated that the exercise is an opportunity for it to enhance its operational capabilities in the Indian Ocean.
The current exercise is the twenty first edition.
The exercise features two submarines, sixteen ships and more than 95 aircraft from the three countries. India will feature INS Vikramadiya aircraft carrier, US features vessels from Nimitz carrier strike group and Japan its helicopter carrier.

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