India, Japan hold naval drill

India, Japan hold naval drill

The navies of India and Japan on Sunday began a three-day anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Arabian sea, using long-range surveillance aircraft used by the two forces.

"The Indian Navy and Japanese Self Defence Forces would carry out an intensive anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Indian Ocean region and Arabian Sea. Japan's two P3C Orion aircraft have landed at the naval air station INS Hansa, Goa. Aircrew from both navies will extensive interaction and cross embark the aircraft (air riders) for evolving the concept of joint operations," said a navy officer.

One of the big gains for the Indian Navy would be tolearnt more about the functions of P3C Orion - an aircraft used by the Pakistani Navy since the last two decades.

The anti-submarine exercise comes within two months of the summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, in which the two sides decided to step up their military cooperation. The two armies are set to carry out their first war game next year.

As a symbol of growing strategic closeness between New Delhi and Tokyo, Japan has been made a permanent member of the Malabar-series of naval exercise involving the US and Indian Navy.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono last week had said that Tokyo favours a dialogue between Japan, the US, India and Australia to further boost strategic partnership among the four countries with the underlying objective of creating a front against Chinese muscle-flexing in the Indian Ocean region.

"This anti-submarine warfare exercise takes the bilateral relations to an unprecedented level of strategic and global partnership," said the navy officer.

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