US, Australia, Japan, India and UK to begin 25th Malabar Naval Exercises in Bay of Bengal

US Navy
Photo: US Navy

The second phase of the 25th Malabar Naval Exercise will begin today in the Bay of Bengal.

All four member states of the Quadrilateral Security Dialouge (Quad)—the US, Australia, Japan and India—as well as the UK are expected to participate in the naval exercises, which will likely focus on surface warfare and anti-submarine drills, and include live fire exercises.

The drills come as President Joe Biden recently reaffirmed the US’ commitment to the “Taiwan Agreement,” acknowledging Taiwan as a Chinese province while a peaceful settlement is reached.

Expect naval air power to take center stage during these exercises to challenge China’s increased confidence in illegally entering Taiwanese airspace. US President Joe Biden just authorized the USS Carl Vinson—one of the largest and most advanced aircraft carriers in the US fleet—to participate in the exercises. Additionally, India will be involving a fleet of new reconnaissance aircraft to the exercises, demonstrating their newfound capabilities in naval aviation ahead of the 2022 launch of India’s first domestically designed and manufactured aircraft carrier, the IAC-1 INS Vikrant.

Expect a swift denunciation of the exercises by China and likely responding with their own exercises to continue challenging the Quad’s growing interoperability.

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