Named ‘Malabar 21,’ the 25th edition of the annual exercise will take place in Guam from August 26-29
The Indian Navy on Wednesday laid out the details of this year Malabar Exercise, which is scheduled to take place from August 26 to 29. The 2021 edition of the naval drills, its 25th, is called “Malabar 21.”
“The aim this year is to increase the interoperability amongst the participating navies, developing common understanding and SOPs for Maritime Security Operations. Malabar 21 will witness exercises all the three domains covering maritime warfare: live-weapon firing, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills, and joint manoeuvres and tactical exercises,” the Navy said in a statement, according to news agency ANI.
Malabar 21 will take place in Guam, an unincorporated territory of the United States, which lies off the Pacific Ocean. Two Indian Navy Ships (INS), Shivalik and Kadmatt, arrived in Guam on August 21 for the exercise.
The Indian Navy, along with its counterparts from Australia, Japan and the US, participates in the Malabar drills, which first took place in 1992. The next two editions were in 1995 and 1996. 2002 was the fourth time it took place. Since then, it has taken place annually.
Initially a bilateral event involving only India and the US, it was expanded to Australia, Japan and Singapore joined in 2007. Japan subsequently participated in 2009 and 2011 and, from 2014, has been a regular participant. It became a permanent member in 2015. While Singapore has participated only once, Australia re-joined in 2020, making its second appearance.
Australia, India, Japan and the US together form the “Quad.” Malabar 2020 was the first time all four Quad members participated in these drills. The exercise was held in two phases: November 3-6 and November 17-20.