India-Japan Military Exercise: Indian Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defence Forces (JMSDF) Friday concluded a three-day bilateral maritime exercise JIMEX in Arabian Sea. The war games between the two Quad navies come at a time when both India and Japan are facing an increasingly aggressive China, from Ladakh region in high Himalayas to Senkaku Island in East China Sea.
Both India and Japan are part of the four-nation bloc known as the Quad. Its four members, the USA, Australia, India and Japan, have formed the alliance to counter Chinese aggression with its neighbors and to ensure freedom-of-navigation in the Indo-Pacific region.
The fifth edition of Japan-India Military Exercise (JIMEX-2021) in the Arabian Sea also comes in the backdrop of Chinese Air Force sending a record number of fighters and bombers to Taiwanese air space early this week as Chinese President Xi Jinping pushes for a unification with Taiwan.
In this edition of JIMEX, ships and aircrafts from both the countries engaged each other in the war drill which focused on high-speed air combat, surface and sub-surface maritime operations.
Focus on air combat, surface, sub-surface war games
Indian Navy fielded indigenous guided missile destroyer INS Kochi which has Sea King MK 42B helicopter, and the guided missile frigate INS Teg which has SAR capable Chetak helicopter on board. India also fielded a Boeing P8I maritime long range patrol aircraft and Russian origin MiG 29K fighters.
While the Indian contingent was led by Rear Admiral Ajay Kochhar, who is Flag Officer Commanding of Indian Navy’s Western Fleet, The Japanese Navy contingent was led by Rear Admiral IkeuchiIzuru, who is Commander of Escort Flotilla Three comprising of the Izumo Class Helicopter Carrier Kaga and the Guided Missile Destroyer Murasame.
Both Japanese Navy ships participated with SH60K helicopters onboard them.
JIMEX-2021: India-Japan Naval Exercise
Indian Navy said setting the operational tempo from the start, the units exercised War at Sea scenario with P8I (IN) providing maritime reconnaissance support to both navies.
The units also practiced replenishment drills at sea and undertook fuel rig connect-up between Japanese Navy ship Kaga and Indian Navy Ship Kochi.
The exercise also involved complex over the horizon targeting exercises and surface guns shoot on an expendable target.
“An advanced coordinated anti-submarine exercise involving an underwater target deployed by JMSDF saw surface units and IN’s P8I aircraft exercising with seamless coordination,” Indian Navy said in a statement.
The Navy said flag officers of the two forces also met on the flight decks of Kochi and Kaga during flying operations, in keeping with the true spirit of military friendship.
The air drill included advanced anti-aircraft firing exercises on expendable aerial target launched from the deck of INS Kochi and ship controlled the beyond visual range (BVR) combat drills by the Indian Navy’s MiG 29K fighters.
“The exercise involved a high tempo of flying operations with MiG 29K fighters coming in for multiple simulated airstrike on surface units, shepherded by the Indian Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft Dornier, Indian Navy said.
Officials said in spite of inclement weather at the sea, Indian Navy and Japan Navy helicopters performed cross-deck landings, showcasing a high level of interoperability.
“The precision, coordination and the high level of interoperability reflected not only the high standards of professionalism and preparedness the two navies maintain to counter threats at sea, but also the high level of trust and understanding that they have built over the years,” Indian Navy said.