India to hold biggest ever naval exercise in Bay of Bengal

July 15th, 2007  

Topic: India to hold biggest ever naval exercise in Bay of Bengal

India to hold biggest ever naval exercise in Bay of Bengal New Delhi, July. 13 (PTI): Twenty warships from five countries, including three aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and fighters, will assemble in the Bay of Bengal in September for a major naval exercise to be hosted by India. The other countries taking part in the wargame are the US, Japan, Australia and Singapore and the warships that will be fielded for it include two American nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, USS Nimitz and Kitty Hawk, defence ministry officials here said today.
Besides the carriers with their full complement of 80 to 100 aircraft, the exercise codenamed Malabar-07 will feature missile destroyers, stealth frigates, nuclear and conventional submarines and tankers. The five-day manoeuvres will also see shore-based Jaguar deep penetration strike aircraft of the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy's Sea Harrier jets and Sea King helicopters from the INS Viraat in action.
Last month's joint manoeuvres by Indian, US and Japanese warships off the Japanese coast in the Pacific had evoked a strong reaction from China. Beijing issued a demarche to the three nations, demanding to know the reason for them undertaking such a wargame close to Chinese territory.
Australia's Defence Minister Brendan Nelson allayed Beijing's fears, saying there was no quadrilateral security alliance comprising Australia, the US, India and Japan in the offing.

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