The Indo-US-Japan Malabar exercise will be held in Guam in June this year. The Indian Navy will send three ships to the exercise which is taking place in the Western Pacific region. Indigenous stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, anti-submarine stealth corvette INS Kamotra and a fleet tanker will be participating in the exercise. The main attraction of the exercise would be the Nimitz-class super-carrier-USS Ronald Regan.
Guam is being prepared to be the westernmost military training range for the US. The US forces are present in the region in large numbers. Australia would not be part of Malabar 2018. Australia had approached India many times for participating in the exercise, but it never got any invite. Australia expected at least a status of an ‘Observer’ but India is reluctant to allow Australia’s participation. This move received rare appreciation from China. Australia participated once in 2007 in the Malabar exercise.
Japan is the third permanent member of the tri-nation exercise. Japan became permanent member in 2015, prior to this it participated in some earlier Malabar exercise. Last year, India hosted the tri-nation which took place in the Bay of Bengal. The participant navies practised carrier group strike operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare operations, medical operations and Special Forces operations.
The annual Malabar exercise started in 1992 between Indian and US navies. Till 1998 only three Malabar exercises were conducted, but after the Pokhran nuclear test, The US put sanctions on India. The exercise was later resumed in 2002, after the US launched a war on terrorism.