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Indo-US naval exercise Malabar from tomorrow

Chennai: Fleets of warships of navies of India and the US will participate in the annual Exercise Malabar which will be underway here tomorrow.

Among the vessels that will dot the oceanline near and off Chennai would be aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, from whose deck the body of slain terrorist and America`s most wanted Osama Bin Laden was disposed off in a sea burial and Indian Navy`s home-built Guided Missile Frigate INS Satpur.

"The Indian Navy and US 7th Fleet have a common understanding and knowledge of a shared working environment at sea. This exercise helps to advance the level of understanding between our sailors and we hope to be able to continue this process over time," an official release from US Consul General here said.

The Naval cooperation between Indian and the USA reflects the "long-term defence relationship between both countries," Indian Navy said adding over the years the two collaborated over a wide spectrum of activities and exercise to advance the maritime partnership.

Both on-shore and off-shore activities including professional exchanges on operations including counter-piracy, carrier aviation and maritime patrol are lined up for the 10-day excercise.

"Events planned during the at-sea portions include liason officer professional exchanges and embarks, communications exercises, surface action group operations, helicopter cross-deck evolutions, underway replenishments, gunnery exercises, visit, board, search and seizure,maritime strike, air defense exercises, encounter exercises, shore-based surface strikes and anti-submarine warfare," US release said.

Ships and vessels that would take part in the Excercise Malabar-2012 include Guided Missile Destroyers INS Ranvijay and INS Ranvir Missile Corvette, INS Kulish and Fleet Tanker INS Shakti from the Indian side and guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey, a logistics ship, P-3C aircraft and a submarine of the US navy.

The two-phased effort will be held near Chennai and in the Bay of Bengal of Nicobar Islands.

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