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Indo-US naval exercise begins in Arabian Sea

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The Indian Navy guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvir (DDG 54) leads the Arleigh-Burke class destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and the Japan Self-Defense Force destroyer JDS Kurama (DDH 144) during Exercise Malabar 2009. A US Navy File Photo.

MALABAR (BNS): The ten-day long Indo-US bilateral naval exercise began on Friday in the Arabian Sea.

This is the fourteenth round of exercise MALABAR CY 10 where the frontline units of US Navy’s 7th fleet and Indian Navy’s Western Fleet are participating.

The scope of the Malabar exercise this year includes diverse range of operational activities at sea.

US Navy is represented by ships from CTF 70 of the USN 7th Fleet which is based at Yokosuka, Japan. The CTF includes the Cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67), Destroyers USS Chaffee (DDG 90), USS Lassen (DDG 82) and Frigate USS Curts (FFG 38). In addition, one Los Angeles class nuclear powered submarine, USS Annapolis (SSN 760), two P3C Orion aircraft and a 28 member US Navy Special Forces team are participating in the exercise.

The Indian Navy is being represented by INS Mysore, an indigenous Delhi Class guided missile destroyer and three guided missile frigates, INS Godavari, INS Brahmaputra and INS Tabar. In addition, one Shishumar class submarine, INS Shankush, Sea Harrier fighters, other fixed and rotary wing aircraft are also participating in the bilateral exercise, according to a MOD of India news release.

The exercise is primarily aimed at deriving mutual benefit from each others experiences. The interoperability achieved over the years as a result of such exercises has proved to be operationally beneficial particularly during the ongoing Anti Piracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden as also during Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations such as the tsunami of 2004.

Naval cooperation between India and USA epitomises the long-term strategic relationship between both countries. Both navies have, over the years, undertaken diverse bilateral activities such as training exchanges, information exchange, and technical cooperation.

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