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India-Japan joint naval drills in the Bay of Bengal begins

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The sixth edition of Japan-India Maritime Exercise 2022 (JIMEX 22), hosted by the Indian Navy, began in the Bay of Bengal. The Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ships are being led by Rear Admiral Hirata Toshiyuki, Commander Escort Flotilla Four, and Indian naval ships by Rear Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.

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The Indian Navy is represented by three indigenously designed and built warships, Sahyadri, a multi-purpose stealth frigate and Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes Kadmatt and Kavaratti. Additionally, Guided Missile Destroyer Ranvijay, Fleet Tanker Jyoti, Offshore Patrol Vessel Sukanya, submarines, MIG 29K fighter aircraft, Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft and ship-borne helicopters are also participating in the exercise. The Indian Naval ships welcomed JMSDF ships Izumo, a Helicopter Carrier, and Takanami, a Guided Missile Destroyer, on their arrival in the Bay of Bengal.

Key points:

  • JIMEX 22 involves two phases – exercises at sea and a harbour phase at Visakhapatnam.
  • This edition marks the 10th anniversary of JIMEX, which began in Japan in 2012. It also coincides with the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Japan.
  • JIMEX 22 seeks to consolidate the high degree of interoperability that exists between maritime forces of the two countries, through complex exercises in the surface, sub-surface and air domains.

Aim of the exercise:

  • The exercises were aimed at enhancing interoperability and streamlining seamanship and communication procedures.
  • This exercise is part of the ongoing efforts between the two navies toward ensuring safe and secure international shipping and trade in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • The two countries have been carrying out regular exercises in IOR towards reinforcing maritime association.

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