Australia has joined key regional defence partners India, Japan and the United States for Exercise MALABAR 2020. HMAS Ballarat will be involved in activities this month to enhance maritime interoperability in support of regional peace and security. HMAS Ballarat will join Indian Navy Ships Shakti, Ranvijay, Sukanya, Shivalik; Indian submarine Sindhuraj; Indian Navy aircraft; United States Ship John S. McCain and Japanese Ship Ōnami.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the imperative to cooperate closely with regional defence partners on shared challenges was stronger than ever. “Exercise MALABAR is an important opportunity to work in concert with like-minded nations to support a secure, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. Participation in sophisticated exercises like MALABAR not only highlights the strategic trust between the members, but also strengthens our collective ability to contribute to regional security. India and Australia are natural partners in the Indo-Pacific, and Exercise MALABAR is a clear demonstration of the depth of trust and cooperation between our defence organisations.”
During the exercise, the four participating navies will conduct a range of high-end training, including air defence and anti-submarine exercises, aviation, communications and at-sea replenishment between ships. The exercise is being conducted in two phases in the Bay of Bengal and the north of the Arabian Sea, in accordance with COVID-19 safety measure