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India plans military drill with US near China border

India plans military drill with US near China border

NEW DELHI: India has lined up a flurry of combat exercises before the year ends to further bolster military interoperability with friendly countries, which includes the


quadrilateral naval wargames off


, infantry exercises with


and three Asean countries, and high-altitude warfare drills with the US near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

Warships, submarines, fighters, aircraft and helicopters will be deployed by India, the US, Japan and Australia off Yokosuka in Japan from November 8 to 18 for the top-notch Malabar exercise, with the four ‘Quad’ countries having firmly declared their intent to deter any “coercion” in the Indo-Pacific with an eye on China’s aggressive expansionist policies.

The Quad and AUKUS, the trilateral pact among the US, UK and Australia to help Canberra acquire nuclear submarines, are important components of this policy.

While dispatching multi-role stealth frigate INS Shivalik, anti-submarine corvette INS Kamorta and a P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft for the Malabar exercise, which will be preceded by Japan’s international fleet review, India is also gearing up for the major land exercise with the US.

The battalion-level ‘

Yudh Abhyas

‘ exercise between the Indian and US armies will be held at Auli in Uttarakhand, barely 100 km from the LAC with China, from November 15 to December 2.

“With around 350 soldiers from each side, Yudh Abhyas will witness employment of integrated battle groups in mountains and extreme cold climate, along with heliborne elements and an integrated surveillance grid,” an officer said.

With India also steadily enhancing military ties with Australia, their armies will now also conduct the first-ever ‘Austra-Hind’ infantry combat exercise at the Mahajan field firing ranges in Rajasthan from November 28 to December 11. “It will promote the capability to operate together in semi-desert terrain,” he added.

India on Wednesday kicked off the SIMBEX naval exercise with Singapore in the Bay of Bengal.

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