General Studies IIISecurity



The Indian Navy (IN) would be participating in the Second Phase of Multilateral Maritime Exercise Malabar along with the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the United States Navy (USN).


  • The exercise is being conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 12 – 15 Oct 2021.
    • First Phase of the exercise was conducted in the Phillipines Sea from 26 – 29 Aug 2021.
  • Participation:
    • The Indian Navy’s participation includes INS Ranvijay, INS Satpura, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and a Submarine.
    • The US Navy will be represented by the Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson along with two destroyers, USS Lake Champlain and USS Stockdale.
    • The JMSDF will be represented by JS Kaga and JS Murasame.
    • Whilst, the Royal Australian Navy will be represented by HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Sirius.
  • The Second Phase of the exercise would build upon the synergy, coordination and inter-operability developed during the First Phase of the exercise and would focus on  advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions and weapon firings.
  • The Malabar series of exercises, which began as an annual bilateral naval exercise between India and the US in 1992, has seen increasing scope and complexity over the years.
  • The 25th edition of MALABAR, being conducted in two phases, while observing all protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, is reflective of the commitment of the participating countries to support a  free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific as well as a rules-based international order.

Significance of Malabar Exercise:

  • Enhance Strategic Partnership:
    • Such complex exercises have further enhanced synergy and mutual understanding among the four navies in undertaking joint maritime security operations, and will go a long way in further strengthening their already close strategic partnership.
  • Sustainable Indo-Pacific Coalition:
    • A major step towards building a sustainable Indo-Pacific coalition thereby addressing the massive strategic imbalance generated by an economically and militarily powerful China.
      • There is a consensus, among many major liberal democracies, that China threatens the international system, liberal societies and a rules-based regime.
  • Peace through Sea:
    • It is not a coincidence that as India-US ties improved in the mid-2000s, China was better behaved.
    • It is only with economic strength and partnerships such as the one that will be manifested in the Malabar exercise that India can broaden its options with China.
      • The road to peace in the mountains may lie through the sea.

Other Exercises with Quad Countries:

  • India- Japan: JIMEX (naval exercise), SHINYUU Maitri (air force exercise), and Dharma Guardian (military exercise).
  • India-US: Yudha Abhyas (Army), Vajra Prahar (Military), Spitting Cobra, SANGAM, RED FLAG, COPE INDIA.
  • India-Australia: AUSINDEX (Maritime), AUSTRA HIND, Pitch Black
  • Passage Exercises (PASSEX).

Malabar and Australia:

  • Australia participated in Malabar in 2007. But the very next year, however, the government in Australia changed, and the country stopped participating in the exercise.
  • The main reason is China. As a grouping of four powerful navies in the Indo-Pacific region, the Quad has irked China, which is flexing its military power globally.
  • Earlier, it was due to the possibility of riling China that India had not expanded Malabar and, to an extent, why Australia had pulled out after 2007.
  • But with China’s relations vexed with all four participating nations — and with an ongoing military standoff in eastern Ladakh for more than 15 months — the Malabar sends a strong message.

Malabar and Quad: Message to China

  • After the 2+2 dialogue with US India reaffirmed our commitment to peace, stability and prosperity of all countries in Indo-pacific region.
  • It also agreed that upholding the rules-based international order, respecting the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the international seas, and upholding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states are essential.
  • Our defence cooperation is intended to further these objectives. Both sides welcomed Australia joining the forthcoming Malabar Exercise.”
  • Quad “must, among other things, contribute to being a key instrument of deterrence that is necessary keeping China in mind.”
  • Continued tendencies to pussy-foot around this central objective is to have a millstone of comorbidities of statecraft that actually end some nations to, perhaps, appear self-deterred”.
  • While “the Quad need not be NATO in its formality, in its political congruence and as a post war response”, it can “deter nonetheless”.

Source: PIB

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