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US vessel docks at Chennai port ahead of naval drill

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The Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52). A US Navy photo

CHENNAI (PTI): Ahead of the Indo-US military exercise 'Malabar' in the Bay of Bengal from April 9, guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill, one of the vessels in the seventh fleet of the United States Navy, docked at Chennai port Saturday.

Apart from USS Bunker Hill, crew from aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey, a logistics ship, a P-3C aircraft and a submarine will take part in the exercise, officials said.

INS Satpura, INS Ranvir, INS Ranvijay, INS Kulish and INS Shakti would represent the Indian side during the joint exercise.

The exercise will have two phases during which Indian and US navies will demonstrate their ocean defence capabilities off the eastern seaboard in the Bay of Bengal, from Visakhapatnam to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that guards approaches to the Strait of Malacca, one of the world's busiest waterways, officials said.

While Phase I will be conducted in the vicinity of Chennai, Phase II will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal and west of Nicobar Islands.

"(The) training will include subject matter expert and professional exchanges on counter-piracy operations, carrier aviation operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations and anti-submarine warfare operations," a US Navy release said.

Events planned include communications exercises, surface action group operations, helicopter cross-deck evolutions, visit, board, search and seizure, maritime strike, air defence and encounter exercises, the release said.

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India  US  Naval Drill  Malabar  
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