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Indo-Pacific Red Lines: On Course To Counter China?

NEW DELHI: The Indian Navy’s Vikramaditya Aircraft Carrier Battle Group has conducted naval exercises with the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, Australian and Japanese vessels in Phase II of Malabar 2020 in the northern Arabian Sea. In ‘Talking Point’, Admiral Arun Prakash (Retd), former Chief of Indian Naval Staff and Capt. James E. Fannel(Retd), former Director of Intelligence and Information Operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet discuss the significance of the messaging to a belligerent Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) PLA Navy. As part of the war games, Indian MiG-29Ks and U.S. F-18s carried out simulated attacks on an enemy surface force and air-to-air combat procedures. The four navies also conducted cross-deck flying operations, coordinated firing on a surface target and anti-submarine warfare exercises. India’s P-8I maritime patrol aircraft operated with the American E2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning (AEW) aircraft. Indigenous destroyers IN Ships Kolkata and Chennai, stealth frigate Talwar, Fleet tanker ship Deepak along with their integral helicopters and the indigenous submarine INS Khanderi also took part in the exercises with the nuclear-powered Nimitz, the Japanese destroyer JS Murasame and Australian frigate HMAS Ballarat.

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In conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi, the panellists also discuss the outgoing Trump administration’s plans to set up the First Fleet, possibly based in Singapore and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a deal with Sudan for a naval facility that can berth up to 4 vessels, including nuclear-powered ones and reports of China’s new ‘aircraft-carrier killer missiles.’