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India, Japan begin bilateral maritime drill 'JIMEX'

JIMEX maritime drill held in 2020. File photo (PIB)

KOCHI (PTI): The fifth edition of India Japan Maritime Bilateral Exercise, JIMEX, between the Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, will be held in Arabian Sea from Wednesday, a Defence spokesman said in Kochi.

Indigenously built guided missile stealth destroyer Kochi and guided missile frigate Teg, under the command of Rear Admiral Ajay Kochhar, Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, will represent the Indian Navy in the three-day exercise, the spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force will be represented by JMSDF ships Kaga, an Izumo class helicopter carrier and Murasame – a guided missile destroyer, led by Rear Admiral IkeuchiIzuru, Commander Escort Flotila - 3 (CCF-3), the spokesman said in a statement.

In addition to ships, P8I long range maritime patrol aircraft, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, integral helicopters and MiG-29K fighter aircraft will also participate in the exercise, it said.

"JIMEX-21 aims to develop common understanding of operational procedures and enhance inter-operability through conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, across the entire spectrum of maritime operations. Multi-faceted tactical exercises involving weapon firings, cross-deck helicopter operations and complex surface, anti-submarine and air warfare drills will consolidate coordination developed by the two navies," the statement said.

Naval cooperation between India and Japan has increased in scope and complexity over years. JIMEX-21 will further enhance the cooperation and mutual confidence between the two navies and fortify the long-standing bond of friendship between the two countries, it added.

JIMEX series of exercises commenced in January 2012 with special focus on maritime security cooperation. The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in September 2020.

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