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Sunday, 5 May, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Joint Indo- US naval exercise
A US Sea Hawk helicopter over Indian Ocean
A series of joint Indo-US military manoeuvres are taking place
India and the United States are carrying out a week-long joint naval exercises in the Arabian sea.

Nearly 750 US navy personnel are taking part in what is being described as the largest ever bilateral exercise, meant to increase operational compatibility between the two navies.


Military to military co-operation between India and the US has been on the upswing

An Indian statement
The move is seen as another sign of growing defence ties between the two countries.

Military relations between India and the US - once on opposite sides of the cold war - have improved considerably over recent years.

In May, the armies of the two countries held their biggest ever joint exercise - Balance Iroquois - in the northern Indian city of Agra.

War games

The latest war games named "Exercise Malabar" , are taking place in the Arabian sea off the Kochi port city in the southern Indian state of Kerala with 750 American personnel and state of art warships.

The event designed to increase "interoperability between the two navies will include surface, sub-surface and air events" and will end on 3 October, agency reports said quoting a US embassy statement.

The Indian navy would field its first latest Delhi class destroyer Godavari class frigate, a SSK class submarine and Russian acquired TU-142 long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

Indian tanks during an exercise
India has held joint military manoeuvres before
The US officials said: " the US Navy Ticonderoge class guided missile cruiser USS Chancelloreville, the Superance class destroyer USS Paul F Foster and P-3c Orion Maritime reconnaissance aircraft will be engaged in war games with Indian naval warships".

The Triconderoga class cruisers next to the aircraft carriers are the largest warships in US naval inventory and USS Cancellorsville has a crew of 360.

The Indian and US forces would also hold mountain - warfare exercises in Alaska between 29 September and 11 October.

Exercise Geronimo Thrust would mark the first participating by Indian troops in a military exercise in the US.

India's Parachute Brigade and Russian -made IL - 76 aircraft from the air force will participate in the exercise.

India says the events are an indication that "Military to military co-operation between India and the US has been on the upswing".

Washington had suspended military ties with India and Pakistan after they carried put nuclear tests in 1998, but they were restored after the countries backed US forces fighting in Afghanistan.

See also:

18 Apr 02 | Business
20 Mar 02 | Americas
26 Jan 02 | South Asia
18 Jan 02 | South Asia
18 Jan 02 | South Asia
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