India and the US on Sunday began a two-day naval exercise in the eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The Indian Navy deployed its warship Shivalik and long-range maritime patrol aircraft P8I in the PASSEX exercise while the USS Theodore Rosevelt carrier of the US Navy has participated.
“In a first, enhancing joint Manship, Indian Air Force fighters were also included in the exercise affording the IAF an opportunity to practice air interception and air defence with the US Navy,” a spokesperson of the Indian Navy said.
The exercise has been initiated a week after US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin flew into India as part of his three-nation first overseas tour that hinted at the Joe Biden administration’s strong commitment to its relations with its close allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
The spokesperson also said that the exercise is aimed at strengthening the synergy and interoperability achieved during the Malabar exercise that took place last November. The Malabar exercise also saw the participation of the navies of Australia and Japan along with India and the US.