Malabar exercise to begin in two phases from November 3

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New Delhi, October 31: All the four Quad partners, India, US, Australia and Japan will for the first time participate together in Malabar Naval exercise being conducted in two phases next month.

While the first phase will be held between November 3-6 in Bay of Bengal, the second phase will take place from November 17-20 in Arabian Sea to showcase the high levels of snergy and coordination between navies of friendly nations, according to a schedule announced by Indian Navy for the military drill.

In a veiled message to China, India has invited the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) this year to participate in the Malabar exercise.

The phase-1 of the exercise involving surface, anti-submarine and anti-warfare operations will have participation by Indian Navy  units with US Navy ship USS John S McCain (guided missile destroyer), Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Ballarat (long range frigate) with integral MH-60 helicopter, and  Japan Maritime Self Defence Force ship JS Onami (destroyer) with integral SH-60 helicopter.  

The Malabar exercise started between Indian and US Navy in the Indian Ocean as a bilateral drill between two countries in 1992 and Japan joined it in 2015.