India is sending two warships for the first time for the Malabar naval exercise, hosted by Australia. The Quad, involving the US, India, Japan, and Australia, will begin off Australia’s east coast this week.
The exercises focus on air defence, maritime operations, and interoperability. The Royal Australian Navy will host the 10-day event, divided into two phases: a harbour phase in Sydney followed by sea exercises.
The US and Japan will send one warship each, while the US, Indian, and Australian marine forces will also deploy Boeing P8I maritime surveillance aircraft. The number of warships will be less, as there will be no submarines or aircraft carriers of any country in the exercise.
The exercise is designed for the interoperability of platforms and is not directed against China. The Quad is a strategic partnership between the four countries, focusing on freedom of navigation, disaster mitigation, and ecological changes.
The previous 26th edition of the multinational maritime exercise MALABAR 22 concluded in the Sea of Japan on November 15, 2022. The bilateral exercise AusIndex started in 2015, has grown in complexity over the years.
Australia and India have also forged links between their defence forces through regular personnel and training exchanges, such as short specialist courses and long-term higher education positions.