This comes at a time when numerous reports have emerged of Chinese naval submarines popping up in the Indian Ocean, particularly near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
An Indian submarine gizmodo
China’s Navy has been aggressive in its operations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Significant military investments in Chinese maritime strategy have enabled a dramatic shift from a traditionally brown-water force to a blue-water navy. As a result, China’s naval ships are increasingly serving outside of their regional waters.
“These types of basic engagements will be the building blocks for an enduring Navy-to-Navy relationship that we hope will grow over time into a shared ASW capability,” a US official had said.
New Delhi agreed last month to open up its military bases to the US in exchange for access to weapons’ technology to help it narrow the gap with China. The joint exercises will be held in the northern Philippine Sea in June and concentrate on anti-submarine warfare, an Indian naval source said.
The participants of the exercise, to be held in Brunei, include Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar and South Korea. It is being held at the South China Sea. INS Airavat, amphibious warship, will be part of the exercise.