Four-nation Malabar naval exercise to commence in 2 phases in November of this year. The Indian Navy will participate in this 24th edition of the Malabar naval exercise along with the United States Navy, the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Phase-1 of the Malabar 2020 naval exercise is set to commence off the coast of Vishakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal from November 3 to November 6. This phase will witness the participation of Indian Navy vessels along with USN Ship USS John S McCain (guided-missile destroyer), RAN Ship HMAS Ballarat (long-range frigate) with integral MH-60 helicopter, and JMSDF Ship JS Onami (Destroyer) with integral SH-60 helicopter.
The second phase of the Malabar 2020 naval exercise is scheduled to be conducted in the Arabian Sea in mid-November 2020. The Malabar naval exercise first started in 1992 as a bilateral Indian Navy-United States Navy drill. Japan joined this naval exercise in 2015 and in 2020, Australia is set to take part in this joint maritime exercise for the first time. In Phase 1 of the Malabar 2020 naval exercise, the participation of the Indian Navy will be commandeered by Rear Admiral Sanjay, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. Indian Navy vessels that will be part of this joint maritime exercise are- INS Ranvijay (Destroyer), INS Shivalik (frigate), INS Sukanya (off-shore patrol vessel), INS Shakti (fleet support ship), and INS Sindhuraj (submarine). The first phase of Malabar 2020 will witness complex and advanced naval exercises, including surface, anti-submarine, and anti-air warfare operations, cross-deck flying, seamanship evolutions and weapon-firing drills.