India and the US on Wednesday began a two-day multi-domain war game in the Indian Ocean involving a series of air defense platforms to further strengthen their operational synergy in the face of China’s growing military presence in the region.
The US has deployed a fleet of F-18 fighter jets and E-2C Hawkeye all-weather aircraft, along with its naval carrier Strike Group, led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, officials said.
Indian assets in the exercise included Jaguar and Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets, IL-78 air-to-air refueling tanker aircraft, AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft and battleships Kochi and Teg.
The Navy has also deployed a fleet of P8I maritime surveillance aircraft and MiG-29K jets, among other platforms.
The US Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is currently stationed in the ocean area.
A carrier battle group or carrier strike group is a large naval fleet consisting of an aircraft carrier, with a large number of destroyers, frigates, and other ships.
“Indian Navy warships, along with aircraft from the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, will engage in joint multi-domain operations with carrier strike groups including the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the Earl Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh,” Navy spokesman Commander Vivek Madhwal said on Tuesday.
He said the two-day exercise aims to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation by demonstrating the ability to comprehensively integrate and coordinate maritime operations.
Officials said the high-speed exercise will include advanced air-defense exercises, cross-deck helicopter operations and anti-submarine maneuvers, aimed at improving combat-fighting skills and enhancing interoperability between the two sides.
The exercise is being conducted on the western seaboard south of Thiruvananthapuram.
Officials said the exercise is focusing on several areas, including enhancing aspects of interoperability, nuances of international integrated maritime search and rescue operations and exchanging best practices in the maritime airpower domain.
India-US defense ties have strengthened over the years.
In June 2016, the US designated India as a “major defense partner”.
The two countries have also signed important defense and security agreements over the years, including a Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016, which seeks to use each other’s bases to repair and replenish supplies to their militaries. allows. Provides deep support.
The two sides have also signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018 which provides for interoperability between the two armies and the sale of high-end technology from the US to India.
In October last year, India and the US sealed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) to further boost bilateral defense ties.
The agreement provides for sharing of high-end military technology, logistics and geospatial maps between the two countries.
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