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Indo-US naval exercise enters second phase

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  • Indo-US naval exercise enters second phase

    Indo-US naval exercise enters second phase

    September 29, 2005 22:56 IST
    Last Updated: September 30, 2005 02:39 IST

    The Indian and United States navies Thursday began the second phase of Malabar-05 joint exercise in the Arabian Sea with a series of maneuvers aimed at building confidence and inter-operability.
    While aircraft carrier INS Viraat, guided missle destroyer INS Mysore and its fuel replenishment tanker INS Aditya, and submarine INS Shankul participated on the Indian side, the guided missile destroyer USS Chafee of the US Navy participated on the American side.

    The vessels from both navies engaged in search and rescue operations, submarine rescue, mid-sea refuelling and other tactical exercises.

    At sunrise, all vessels sailed into the sea where they first joined in several strategic formations before engaging in joint tasks. Naval Chetak helicopters later landed on USS Chafee, while US strike helicopter SH-60 landed on INS Viraat.

    The highlight of the event, however, was the mid-sea refuelling exercise in which Indian naval oil supply vessel INS Aditya performed the difficult task of going into simultaneous formations with INS Mysore and USS Chafee to help them replenishing their fuel stocks.

    This was an important exercise for the two navies since refuelling in mid-sea is a difficult task, particularly during war and the tanker and the vessel could prove sitting ducks for the enemy, a senior Indian naval official told PTI in Vasco da Gama.

    While INS Aditya replenished fuel stocks of both naval vessels, aircraft carrier INS Viraat provided strategic support, with its Sea Harrier performing various tasks to provide a cover to the naval vessels enacting a real-time scenario.

    Beginning Friday, the two navies will enter into more advanced exercises to adjudge and develop inter-operability of the two forces to fight piracy, terrorism and discuss security-related issues pertaining to the region, sources said.

    One of the exercises, which the US naval vessels will undertake before leaving for home on October 5, is a virtual "war at sea" game in which naval hardware and personnel from both sides will be pooled in to form two teams that will enact a real-time war scenario at sea.

    The US Navy's USS Chafee, the Arleigh Burke class guided missle destroyer, is named after former US Secretary for Navy John Lester Hubbard Chafee.

    The destroyer, having a displacement capacity of 9,200 tonnes and a length of 5,085 feet with a maximum speed of 32 knots, has a range of arsenal including two SH-60 strategic destroyers, MK-41-VLS standard missiles, Tomahawk anti-submarine and land attack missiles, besides Phalanx close-in weapons system against anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.

    The USS Chafee is commanded by Captain John Clauson and has a staff of 380 members on board. USS Nimitz, the US aircraft carrier, which earlier took part in the first phase of Malabar-05 last week, has left for home, while USS Chafee, USS Higgins and the nuclear submarine USS Santa Fe will continue to perform at the exercise, naval sources said.

    Anybody tracking this naval exercise????