India, Japan strengthen partnership with maritime exercise in Arabian Sea

New Delhi: India and Japan concluded the fifth edition of bilateral maritime exercise JIMEX on the Arabian Sea from October 6-8. The exercise saw the ships and aircrafts of Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and Indian Navy engaging in high tempo operations focused on air, surface, and sub-surface dimensions of maritime operations. 

India and Japan are members of strategic alliance QUAD and have been increasing strategic coordination in the recent time with increasing threat level to their interests in the Indo-Pacific region. 

Indian Navy had deployed INS Kochi, the indigenous guided-missile destroyer, carrying Sea King MK 42B helicopter and INS Teg, the Guided Missile Frigate, with SAR capable Chetak helicopter. The Indian fleet was led by Rear Admiral Ajay Kochar, the Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Fleet of the Indian Navy. 

The JMSDF is led by Rear Admiral lkeuchiIzuru and his Escort Flotilla comprising three Izumo Class helicopter carriers – Kaga and the Guided Missile Destroyer named Murasame. 

The naval units from India and Japan practiced replenishment at sea approaches and undertook fuel rig connection-up between Kaga and INS Kochi. The exercise also involved complex over the horizon targeting exercises and surface gunshots on an expendable target. An advanced coordinated anti-submarine exercise involving an underwater target deployed by JMSDF saw surface units and Indian Navy’s P8I aircraft exercising with seamless coordination. 

Indian Navy said that the complex maritime exercises undertaken will enable the two navies to further strengthen their already wide-ranging strategic partnership and, when required to jointly safeguard their maritime interests and ensure peace, security and stability in the region. 

Image courtesy of Indian Navy

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