What is Malabar Naval Exercise?

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 25, 2022, 13:40

Naval Exercises are maritime military manoeuvres undertaken by two or more countries where they deploy their naval ships for an extended period of time (usually for months) to increase combat readiness and interoperability.

Naval Exercises are the most important means by which the navies of different countries can improve their tactical and interoperable capabilities. These exercises can be classified as bilateral or multilateral, depending on the number of navies involved.

Malabar Naval Exercise - Overview

Malabar Naval Exercise is a tri-lateral Naval Exercise conducted in the Indian Ocean since 1992 by India, Australia, Japan, and the United States. It is held annually and involves both conventional and nuclear-capable ships, submarines, and aircraft of the three countries.

In the US-India Strategic Partnership context, this exercise is yet another milestone in a long journey that the two countries have embarked upon. It represents a major step forward in strategic and defence cooperation between the two countries. It will also go a long way in establishing interoperability, capability, and expertise among India, Japan, and the United States.

The three countries have used Malabar Naval Exercises to share their tactical military capabilities and test their operational procedures. The navies have also used it to strengthen their capabilities in anti-submarine warfare, anti-air warfare, logistics supply management, disaster relief operations, etc.

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Significance of Malabar Naval Exercise

Malabar Naval Exercise is one of India's most important bilateral exercises with any country.

India's exercise with the United States and Japan enables it to bring the three countries closer together through increased military cooperation and exercise, thereby achieving the strategic objective of making the Indian Ocean a Zone of Peace. It also helps India improve its bilateral and multilateral standing in the international community.

This Malabar Naval Exercise also enables India to gain insights into the combat readiness, experience, state of technology, etc., of both the United States and Japan.

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The two countries are currently grappling with a series of complex geopolitical issues, including but not limited to nuclear proliferation, terrorism, narcotics smuggling and trafficking; territorial disputes in the Asia-Pacific region; North Korea's nuclear missile program, etc.

Malabar Exercise 2021 is likely to prove a great asset in enhancing strategic understanding between these three countries, thereby forging their mutual commitments to upholding international peace.

Malabar Naval Exercise is one of the most important bilateral exercises that India has embarked upon. It will go a long way in strengthening the understanding and cordiality between India, Japan, and the United States, enhancing their strategic partnership based on common interests.

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FAQs on Malabar Naval Exercise

Q1. What is the significance of the Indian Navy's participation in the Malabar Naval Exercise?

Indian Navy's participation in Malabar Naval Exercise is significant for the following reasons:

(a) It helps India improve its bilateral and multilateral standing in the international community.

(b) It enables India to gain insights into combat readiness, experience, state of technology, etc., of both Japan and the United States.

Q2. How has India benefited from the Malabar Naval Exercise?

India has benefited from Malabar Naval Exercise in the following ways:

(a) It helps India bring its strategic partnership with the United States and Japan to a new level of understanding, addressing mutual peace and security concerns.

(b) It enables India to enhance its bilateral and multilateral standing in the international community.

Q3. When did the Malabar Naval Exercise begin?

Malabar Naval Exercise began in the year 1992. In the beginning, it involved only the Indian Navy and the United States Navy. Since then, Australia and Japan have also joined it, making it a multilateral exercise involving four countries.

Q4. What are the objectives of the Malabar Naval Exercise?

Malabar Naval Exercise aims at:

(a) Enhancing India-USA-Japan multilateral relations by improving interoperability, capability, and expertise.

(b) Enhancing strategic mutual trust between India and the United States through an extended period of military cooperation.