The navies of the U.S., Australia, India, and Japan began exercises on Tuesday in the Northern Arabian Sea, launching the second phase of a joint “Malabar 2020” naval drill viewed by observers as a regional deterrent to China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific.
The “Malabar 2020” naval exercise “highlights enhanced convergence of views amongst the four vibrant democracies on maritime issues,” India’s defense ministry said in a statement, as quoted by U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes on Tuesday.
The first phase of the Malabar drill took place November 3-6 in the Bay of Bengal, the northeastern portion of the Indian Ocean. The Arabian Sea is located in the Indian Ocean’s northwest.
The second phase exercises “consist of operations centered on the Indian navy’s Vikramaditya carrier battle group and the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz carrier strike group,” according to the Indian defense ministry statement.
“The two carriers, along with other ships, submarines and