Submarines and aircraft carriers will not be part of the exercise, which aims to demonstrate intricate interoperability among platforms. Importantly, officials stress that the exercise is not aimed at China and should not be viewed as a manoeuvre by the Quad countries against any specific nation.

As a first, Australia will host the four-nation naval exercise 'Malabar' involving Australia, India, Japan and the United States from August 11-21 off the eastern coast of Australia. The grouping of these four nations also called Quad will witness the capability and capacity of air defence systems, and sea operations and also detect under-sea threats with stress on interoperability. The exercise, which would last for 10 days will be conducted in two phases, including a harbour phase at Sydney followed by sea exercises.

From the Indian Navy's side, destroyer INS Kolkata and multi-role stealth frigate INS Sahyadri will be participating in the exercise. Australian Navy will be deploying its two warships -- HMAS Choules and HMAS Brisbane.

While the US and Japan will be fielding one ship each. Except for Japan, all three navies will be deploying Boeing P8I maritime surveillance aircraft.

As per the sources, there will be no participation of submarines or aircraft carriers from any navies. "The exercise will involve very high-end complexity, which will focus towards interoperability," they said.

The sources further added that the exercise is designed to have interoperability of platforms.

Exercise Not Directed Against China

The sources also said that the exercise was not directed against China and should not be seen as an exercise of Quad countries. Last time, Japan had conducted this wargame, wherein about a dozen warships participated.

It must be mentioned that the grouping has been very vocal for a 'free, open, and rule-based Indo-Pacific'.

Commencing in 1992, the Malabar exercise saw participation from the naval forces of India and the United States. In 2015, Japan became its permanent member and in 2020 Australian Navy participated in the wargame.

China has time and again been raising the issue over such exercise and view it as a countervailing grouping against it.