The 27th Malabar naval exercise commenced on Friday, 11 August, with the participation of India, the USA, Japan, and Australia. Australia is hosting this exercise for the first time as the sea tensions are going through a hard-knock phase. All the QUAD ships are heading toward Sydney for the harbor phase as the rendezvous is east coast of Australia.
Beginning as a bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and the US Navy in 1992, the MALABAR series of maritime drills has grown in prominence over time to include Japan and Australia.
This exercise will consist of two phases i.e. harbor phase and the sea phase. The Harbour Phase includes a variety of activities, such as cross-deck visits, professional exchanges, sporting events, and other interactions for the preparation and execution of the Sea Phase. The Sea Phase will comprise several complicated and intense anti-surface, anti-air, and anti-submarine warfare exercises, including live weapon firing drills.
The destroyer HMAS Brisbane and the landing ship HMAS Choules are two ships that are being sent out by the Australian Navy. INS Kolkata and INS Sahyadri will be the Indian Navy’s representatives. The US will be represented by a Destroyer and Japan by a surface ship. Additionally, the US, Australia, and India will all participate in this exercise with their P-8 Maritime Surveillance and Patrol aircraft.
As the world is moving towards multipolarity, Chinese media says that the Malabar Exercise is a “pillar of the Asian version of NATO,” which is backed by the US to restrain China’s rise. China sees these naval exercises as a manifestation of a Cold War mindset that threatens regional stability and raises tensions. China sees the exercises as further evidence that a coalition of nations is trying to limit its influence and undermine its territorial claims, particularly in the South China Sea.
Author: Muhammad Ramish has done two years of training at Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul. He has keen interest in Pakistan affairs as well as foreign relations.