Indian Navy has conducted a Passage Exercise (PASSEX)- a high-end joint naval drill with the US Navy in the Indian Ocean. To maximize training and interoperability, including air defense.
- The exercise featured the participation of four Indian naval ships, including INS Shivalik, INS Sahyadri, INS Kamorta and INS Rana.
- Teamed up with carrier USS Nimitz is the U.S. Navy’s largest aircraft carrier and three other U.S. ships- Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, USS Princeton (CG 59) and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).
- The exercise was conducted near the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
To improve the cooperation between the U.S. and Indian maritime forces
- This will increase both sides' ability to counter threats at sea, from piracy to violent extremism.
- An open sea promotes an international rules-based order wherein each country can reach its prospect without sacrificing national sovereignty.
- It will also present a chance to build strong relationships between the United States and India.
- The move by Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) can be seen in the context of the stand-off with China along the border in Ladakh.
- The exercise comes at a time when we are witnessing mounting tensions in the South China Sea where the U.S Navy just conducted a major exercise involving USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan.
- The Indian Navy is keeping a close watch on the movement of Chinese naval ships in the IOR, whose presence has increased in recent years in the name of anti-piracy patrols.
- China, in 2017 opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti.