The Indian and Japanese navies on Sunday started an intensive air anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Indian Ocean, a defence official said.
The exercise in the Arabian Sea will conclude on October 31, Indian Navy Spokesperson Captain D.K. Sharma said in a tweet.
A P-8 I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft of Indian Navy and two P-3 Orion Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMDSF) will participate in the exercise.
The P-3 Orion aircraft reached the Naval Air Station INS Hansa in Goa on Sunday for the exercise, which comes when presence of Chinese ships and submarines in the Indian Ocean has increased and Beijing has been posturing aggressively in the South China Sea.
Maritime security and freedom of navigation has also figured prominently in India’s recent bilateral and multi-lateral defence dialogues.
India and Japan, along with US had also focused on anti-submarine warfare in the trilateral exercise Malabar in July this year. China had said at that time that it hoped the exercise is not aimed at other countries.
Maritime security was a key subject during interactions between Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and French Defence Minister Florence Parly, as well as with US Defence Secretary James Mattis during their recent visits. When then Defence Minister Arun Jaitley went to Japan for a bilateral defence dialogue in September, maritime security was again in focus.