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Quad navies to participate in Malabar 2023 off Sydney between August 11-22

2023-05-19 00:00:00



SYDNEY: The Quad summit in Sydney has been cancelled but the powerful navies of US, India, Australia, and Japan will take part in advanced Malabar 2023 exercises off the east coast of down under nation from August 11 to 22 this year practicing interoperability, sea deterrence, sea denial towards ensuring freedom of navigation in the Indo Pacific. The complex exercises will include both sea and harbor phases with top commanders of Quad navies discussing the Indo Pacific. With India having a logistics agreement with all the other three QUAD partners, the Indian Navy will participate with its top of the line destroyers, P 8 I anti submarine warfare aircraft and a submarine at the Malabar 2023, which started as a Indo US bilateral exercise way back in 1992. Japan was made a permanent partner in 2015 and Australia joined in 2020 to complete the Quad. According to officials, the basic focus of the naval exercise will be anti submarine warfare operations with the PLA Navy getting belligerent in the Indo Pacific after laying claims on the entire South China much to the chagrin of ASEAN countries like Philippines and Indonesia in particular. With the PLA Navy rapidly expanding its nuclear powered conventional armed submarines, Beijing s strategic ambition is to dominate the far Pacific with its warships and submarines crossing the first and second chain of islands off its eastern seaboard.

The PLA has also built conventional DF 21 missile parks on its eastern coast to deter the powerful US Navy from operating in South China Sea and threatens to use DF 26 missiles to target the US naval and military bases at Guam. The India US military exercise schedule was also reviewed at the 17th meeting of the bilateral defence policy group on Wednesday with both sides reinforcing their commitment to strengthening cooperation and interoperability between the two forces to work together in all domains and all the services. The DPG was c chaired by Indian Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane and US Under Secretary for Policy at Pentagon Dr Colin Kahl. It is understood that the officials exchanged views about shared priorities in the Indian Ocean Region and aligning the bilateral partnership with other like minded partnerships to sustain a free and open Indo Pacific. The DPG advanced an ambitious agenda including industrial cooperation, maritime security, and technological collaboration, reflecting the robust and comprehensive ties between the two natural allies. While India, Australia and the US are clear about their Quad agenda in the Indo Pacific, the focus is on Tokyo, which is still to shed its pacifist mindset and make up its mind on Beijing given the nature of huge investment by Japanese companies in China.

Although both Japan and China are under the nuclear umbrella of the US, Tokyo will be the first to face military emergency if President Xi Jinping orders the PLA to occupy Taiwan. India on its part is still to resolve the friction points on the East Ladakh LAC with the PLA still to de escalate and disengage from the western and the eastern sector with additional combined armed brigades deployed in these two sensitive sectors.

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