America’s largest aircraft carrier USS Nimitz to conduct war drill with Indian Navy today
Bhubaneswar: Despite disengagement between the Chines PLA and Indian Army at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) near Ladakh, India has remained vigilant not only at its land borders, but at the sea also.
The Indian Navy, which had conducted manoeuvres off the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, last week, will conduct a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with US Navy’s aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and 4 other Navy ships today and Tuesday as US fleet pass through the south of Andaman & Nicobar Islands in their way to the Western Indian Ocean.
A PASSEX in U.S. Navy terminology is an exercise done between two friendly navies to ensure that the navies are able to communicate and cooperate in times of war or humanitarian relief.
“Apart from Nimitz, there are 2 US destroyers and 2 supply ships in the US fleet passing through the region. The composition of the Indian Navy’s fleet is not known but they are most likely to be Eastern Naval Command’s destroyers and frigates. The Japanese Navy had done Passex with Indian Navy in June” twitted defense and strategic analyst Nitin Gokhle.
After its faceoff with the Chinese PLA, India has kept its Naval forces vigilant in the Bay of Bengal near the strategically crucial Malacca Strait. Last week India’s Easter Naval Command conducted an exercise off the Andaman& Nicobar Islands and all major warships and critical assets of the Navy were part of the war drill. The IAF has also moved half a squadron of Jaguars to the Car Nicobar Island in the past fortnight in what is seen as a signaling to the Chinese.
Meanwhile, in response to the Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, US Navy has increased its assets in the SCS and the Indian Ocean. Last week US Navy’s aircraft carriers USS Nimitz, USS Ronald Regan and several other warships, destroyers conducted war drill in the South China Sea. After conducting the drill, USS Nimitz and few other warships are returning to the Indian Ocean through the Malacca strait.