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India, US start 2-day naval exercise in eastern Indian Ocean region


Reflecting growing partnership in defence and military, India and the US kicked off a two-day naval exercise in the eastern Indian Ocean Region on Sunday. In a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) exercise earlier today, the Indian Navy's warship Shivalik with integral helicopter and long-range maritime patrol aircraft P8I participated with US Navy's USS Theodore Rosevelt carrier strike group. A carrier battle group or carrier strike group is a mega naval fleet comprising an aircraft carrier, accompanied by a large number of destroyers, frigates and other ships.

Indian Navy spokesperson said, "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." The exercise began on Sunday and will conclude on Monday.

Around 70% of the numbers made by the film are coming from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Mysore, Tamil Nadu and Kerala according to trade website Box Office India while several Hindi-speaking markets, especially Maharashtra, face covid-19 curbs and restrictions.

The Passage Exercise followed US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin's visit to India as part of his three-nation overseas tour. The visit signaled the Biden administration's strong commitment with its close allies in the Indo-Pacific region. During the visit, both sides resolved to further consolidate their robust defence cooperation through deeper military-to-military engagement. Austin described the partnership as "a stronghold of a free and open Indo-Pacific."

About the Passage Exercise, the Indian Navy spokesperson said it is aimed at consolidating the synergy and interoperability achieved during the Malabar exercise that took place in November. Besides the Indian Navy, the navies of the US, Australia and Japan also participated in the exercise. The four countries are part of the Quad or Quadrilateral coalition.

China has been suspicious about the purpose of the Malabar exercise as it feels that the annual war game is an effort to contain its influence in the Indo-Pacific region.