Phase 2 of Malabar 2020 naval exercise will witness joint operations, centered around the Indian Navy’s Vikramaditya Carrier Battle Group and Nimitz Carrier Strike Group of the US Navy.
The two carriers, along with other ships, submarine and aircraft of the participating navies, would be engaged in high intensity naval operations over four days from November 17-20 in the Northern Arabian Sea.
These exercises include cross-deck flying operations and advanced air defence exercises by MIG 29K fighters of Vikramaditya and F-18 fighters besides E2C Hawkeye from the Nimitz. In addition, advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions and weapon firings will also be undertaken to further enhance inter-operability and synergy between the four friendly navies.
In addition to Vikramaditya and its fighter and helicopter air-wings, indigenous destroyers Kolkata and Chennai, stealth frigate Talwar, Fleet Support Ship Deepak and integral helicopters will also participate in the exercise, led by Rear Admiral Krishna Swaminathan, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet.
Indigenously built submarine Khanderi and P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft of the Indian Navy will also showcase their capabilities during the exercise
The second phase will take forward the synergy achieved in the recently concluded Phase 1 of Exercise Malabar 2020, which was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 03 to 06 November 2020, this phase will involve coordinated operations of increasing complexity between the navies of Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
US Navy’s Strike Carrier Nimitz will be accompanied by cruiser Princeton and destroyer Sterett in addition to P8A maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The Royal Australian Navy will be represented by frigate Ballarat along with its integral helicopter. The Japanese Navy will also participate in the exercise.