New Delhi, November 2
After a gap of 13 years, India, US, Australia and Japan will conduct their first joint naval drill, called Malabar exercise, from tomorrow.
About India’s participating fleet
Destroyer INS Ranvijay, frigate INS Shivalik, off-shore patrol vessel INS Sukanya, fleet support ship INS Shakti, submarine INS Sindhuraj, advanced jet trainer hawk, long-range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I and Dornier maritime patrol aircraft
It will be the 24th edition of the exercise and the first phase will be held in the Bay of Bengal. The second phase will commence from November 17 on the western front in the Arabian Sea. The drill is unique as it will be the first time that the four countries will be participating as a bloc called the ‘Quadrilateral’ or the ‘Quad’.
3 more Rafale jets arrive tomorrow
- Three more Rafale jets are scheduled to arrive in India on Wednesday. The IAF base at Ambala already has five planes.
- The three jets will fly non-stop from Istres in France to Jamnagar in India. It will be an eight-hour non-stop flight.
- The first batch of five Rafale jets was formally inducted into the ‘Golden Arrows’ squadron on September 10.
- India has ordered 36 aircraft and the delivery is expected to be completed in the next 26 months.
China had protested when these countries exercised together last time and termed it as an “anti-China” grouping. For long, the US had wanted India by its side as a counterweight to China. New Delhi balanced its ties among global heavyweights like Russia and more recently China. But the current border dispute between Indian and China has pushed New Delhi to make ‘Quad’ more meaningful. — TNS
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