India, Japan bilateral maritime exercise begins

India, Japan bilateral maritime exercise begins

Japanese ships arrive at Vizag on Sunday.

Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) Ships Kaga, an Izumo Class Helicopter Destroyer and Inazuma – a Guided Missile Destroyer, arrived at Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

The JMSDF Ships under the command of Rear Admiral Tatsuya Fukada, Commander, Escort Flotilla-4 (CCF-4), would be participating in the third edition of Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) with the ships of Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy (IN) from October 7 to 15. JIMEX-18 is aimed to enhance inter-operability, improve understanding and imbibe the best practices of each other.

According to a Navy press release, the IN will be represented by three indigenously designed and built warships and a fleet tanker. The ships participating are, INS Satpura, a multipurpose stealth frigate, INS Kadmatt, an anti-submarine warfare corvette and a missile corvette and INS Shakti, the fleet tanker.

In addition, one submarine, P8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft and a number of integral helicopters will also be participating in the exercise. The Indian ships participating will be under the command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Fleet.

JIMEX 18, spread over eight days, will comprise a harbour phase and a sea phase of four days each. The harbour phase of the exercise scheduled from October 7 to 10 will include professional and social interactions between ship’s crews, sports fixtures and operational planning for the sea phase.

The sea phase will include anti-submarine warfare exercises, VBSS (Visit, Board, Search and Seizure) drills, gun firings, cross-deck helo operations and coordinated operations in anti-submarine and anti-air threat scenarios.

The last edition of JIMEX was conducted in December 2013 off Chennai coast. The conduct of JIMEX-18 after five years is indicative of an upswing in the Indo-Japanese defence relations and the continued efforts of both governments to work closely to enhance safety and security of the global commons in keeping with "rule-based order."

It is pertinent to highlight that JMSDF is a regular participant in the Malabar series of exercises between the Indian and US Navies. In addition, the ships of the two navies have been working in close coordination in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden (GoA) for the past few years. JMSDF ships also participated in the recently concluded MALABAR 18 off Guam (along with Indian and US Navy units) in the Pacific Ocean in June and biennial multilateral exercise RIMPAC-18 off Hawaii, USA.