In the ongoing Malabar exercise in the Indian Ocean region, MiG-29Ks of the Indian Navy and F-18s of the US Navy carried out simulated attacks on the surface force during a multilateral naval exercise on Friday.
The MiG-29s operated from the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. Moreover, coordinated firing on surface target was undertaken during the Phase-2 of the Malabar-2020 exercise.
The Phase-2 of the 24th edition of the multilateral Malabar Naval Exercise will culminate today.
Earlier on Thursday, the second phase of the Malabar exercise saw a high tempo of fighter flying operations from the decks of the two participating aircraft carriers -- INS Vikramaditya and USS Nimitz.
"MiG 29K's of the IN and the F-18 of the US Navy flew along with the IN's maritime patrol aircraft P-8I and the USN AEW aircraft E2C Hawkeye in seamless coordination," said the Indian Navy.
The second phase of the Malabar exercise began on Tuesday in the Northern Arabian Sea with the participation of Indian Navy aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, the American aircraft carrier USS Nimitz along with other Indian, US, Australian and Japanese warships carrying out 'Malabar-2020' wargames
HMAS Ballarat of the Australian Navy and Japanese destroyer JS Murasame are also participating in this year's Malabar Exercise. The exercise is slated to conclude today. The exercise is strategically crucial as it brings together for the first time, all the four countries of the QUAD grouping for the war games.
The maritime union of the forces may be viewed against an increasing Chinese footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). In fact, in a bid to counter the Chinese dominance, the US, last year, rebalanced its Pacific fleet and also renamed the Pacific Command (PACOM) as Indo-Pacific Command, thus underlining the strategic importance it imparts to the region
Underway replenishment was also undertaken between Indian Navy ships and those of the Royal Australian Navy and the US Navy. The coordination and understanding displayed by the navies during these exercises is reflective of the trust and understanding they have built over the years, as also the high standards of professionalism and preparedness they maintain to counter any threat at sea
The navies of the Quad or Quadrilateral coalition - an informal security forum comprising India, the US, Japan, and Australia - are carrying out the naval exercise with aircraft carriers battle groups from November 17 to November 20 in the Indian Ocean region. For India, the Malabar exercise has gained geostrategic prominence at a time China has started a dispute on the borders
These complex advanced air defense exercises and maneuvers necessitate a high level of understanding amongst both aircrews and underline the similarity in their air operations as well as a high level of operational preparedness and an ability to conduct joint maritime security operations, it added
Indian Navy's MiG 29Ks and maritime patrol aircraft P-8I along with US Navy's F-18 and AEW aircraft E2C participated in these operations, said Indian Navy. "Both fighter aircraft operated as a composite strike package and practiced Beyond Visual Range (BVR) tactics, including Dissimilar Aircraft Combat Training (DACT) exercises," Indian Navy said