After conducting naval drills with Russia and two QUAD nations – United States and Australia, the Indian Navy is now undertaking another PASSEX (Passage Exercise) with the third QUAD country – Japan from 26th to 28th September, various official sources informed.
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Termed as “JIMEX”, the navies of both the nations would conduct the exercise in the waters of Northern Arabian Sea and will be the fourth edition of this exercise.
The JIMEX-2020 will also be a non-contact exercise just like the one conducted with the Royal Australian Navy, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. All precautionary protocols will be followed, the Navy told.
“JIMEX-20 will showcase a high degree of inter-operability and joint operational skills through the conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, across the spectrum of maritime operations. Multi-faceted tactical exercises involving weapon firing, cross-deck helicopter operations and complex surface, anti-submarine and air warfare drills will consolidate the coordination developed by the two navies,” the navy said in a statement.
The Indian Navy will be represented by the Kolkata-class stealth destroyer INS Chennai, two Talwar-class frigates INS Teg and INS Tarkash, along with the fleet tanker INS Deepak.
The Japanese side will be represented by the Izumo-class aircraft carrier JS Kaga and the destroyer JS Ikazuchi. The P-8i long-range maritime patrol aircraft, as well as helicopters and fighter jets of the naval aviation units of both countries, will also take part in the exercise.
“Naval cooperation between India and Japan has increased in scope and complexity over the years. Advanced level of operations and exercises planned during JIMEX-20 are indicative of the continued upswing in Indo-Japanese defence relations and continued efforts by both Governments to work closely for a more secure, open and inclusive global commons, in accordance with international regulations,” the press release stated.
The exercises comes at a crucial point when India is engaged in a bitter standoff with China in the Ladakh region, where recent clashes have resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian and an unconfirmed number of PLA troops.
Since then, India has responded swiftly by undertaking drills with friendly nations, including a PASSEX with the USS Nimitz in July, and with Russia and Australia in this month only. India is also set to hold the Malabar exercises in the Indian Ocean Region by the end of this year, involving the participation of all QUAD navies.