Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt arrived at Guam, an Island Territory of the USA on 21 Aug 21 as part of their ongoing deployment to nations in South East Asia and the Pacific Ocean. The two ships are scheduled to participate in the annual Exercise MALABAR-21, between the navies of Australia, India, Japan, and the USA. MALABAR series of maritime exercises commenced in 1992 as a bilateral IN-USN exercise and has grown in stature over the years to include four prominent navies in the Pacific and Indian Ocean Region.
As part of the Exercise, Vice Admiral AB Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command will have operational discussions with Rear Admiral Leonard C. “Butch” Dollaga, Commander CTF-74 focussing on developing an action plan and coordinated operations in the maritime domain. Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti would be embarked onboard INS Shivalik during the conduct of Sea Phase commencing 26 Aug 21.
Exercise MALABAR-21 will be conducted with USN, JMSDF, and RAN at sea from 26-29 Aug 21. The exercise will provide an opportunity for common-minded navies to enhance inter-operability, gain from best practices and develop a common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations. MALABAR-21 would witness high-tempo exercises conducted between Destroyers, Frigates, Corvettes, Submarines, Helicopters, and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the participating navies. Complex surface, sub-surface and air operations including Live Weapon Firing Drills, Anti-Surface, Anti-Air, and Anti-Submarine Warfare Drills, Joint Manoeuvres, and Tactical exercises will be conducted during the exercise. The conduct of these exercises despite COVID restrictions is a testimony of synergy between the participating navies and commitment to safer seas.
The participating Indian Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt are the latest indigenously designed and built, multi-role Guided Missile Stealth Frigate and Anti-Submarine Corvette respectively, and form part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam, Eastern Naval Command. INS Shivalik is commanded by Captain Kapil Mehta whilst INS Kadmatt is commanded by Commander RK Maharana. The two ships are equipped with a versatile array of weapons and sensors, can carry multi-role helicopters and represent the growth of India’s warship building capabilities.