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  India   All India  07 Jul 2017  China keeps eye on Operation Malabar

China keeps eye on Operation Malabar

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANJIB KR BARUAH
Published : Jul 7, 2017, 5:32 am IST
Updated : Jul 7, 2017, 5:33 am IST

Beijing’s spy ship to keep watch on India, US, Japan Navy exercise.

Malabar 2017 is of unusual significance amid seething tension between India and China with troops of both the countries engaged in a standoff in a tri-junction near the Chumba Valley across Sikkim.
 Malabar 2017 is of unusual significance amid seething tension between India and China with troops of both the countries engaged in a standoff in a tri-junction near the Chumba Valley across Sikkim.

New Delhi: The 10-day-long Operation Malabar, which will take off on Monday in the Bay of Bengal, besides being the most complex version till date, holds out strong promise of staging a “cat and mouse game” like no other versions of the 20 preceding it.

While the US, Indian and Japanese Navies will together field at least 15 ships in the exercise focused on submarine detection and adopting counter measures, Beijing will deploy high tech surveillance ship CNS Neptune besides Yuan class submarines and satellites in the sky to keep watch over the unfolding mega exercise. The “Chongming Island” submarine rescue ship is also likely to be present in the region during the time of the exercise.

 

Chinese experts, like military commentator Chen Guangwen, believe Malabar 2017 is aimed primarily at countering underwater threats. “This time by the India-led “Malabar” joint military exercise is to find a way to deal with Chinese submarines,” Mr Chen has said.

Malabar 2017 is of unusual significance amid seething tension between India and China with troops of both the countries engaged in a standoff in a tri-junction near the Chumba Valley across Sikkim.

Besides CNS Neptune (also known as Haiwangxing), the PLA Navy’s snooping fleet comprises a fleet of five more sophisticated electronic reconnaissance vessels — Polaris (Beijixing), Uranus (Tianwangxing), Sirius (Tianlangxing), Mizar (Kaiyangxing) and a fifth one which is known only by its hull code of 855.

 

Commissioned on December 26, 2015, Neptune is capable of conducting “continuous all-weather reconnaissance of various targets within a certain range” and the ability to collect information of air, water and underwater assets.

About 400 feet in length, Neptune has large bulbous structures that are believed to house advanced antennae to intercepting radar and radio signals broadcast by ships within its range.

According to a recent Pentagon report, the Chinese Navy currently possesses five nuclear-powered attack submarines, four nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines, and 54 diesel-powered attack submarines. By 2020, this force will likely grow to between 69 and 78 submarines.

 

The US is believed to be sending F / A-18 fighters onboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton, guided-missile destroyers USS Howard, USS Shoup, and USS Kidd, a P-8A Poseidon aircraft, and a Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine.

While India will be fielding its sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya with MiG-29K fighters onboard, six to seven first-line warships and a Russian-made Kilo-class submarine, Japan is expected to send a helicopter carrier JS Izumo and a Takanami class destroyer JS Sazanami for participating in the exercise. 

Tags: ins vikramaditya, operation malabar
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi