July 7 (UPI) -- The United States, Japan and India have started a week-long series of joint naval exercises involving ships and aircraft from all three nations, the U.S. Navy announced Friday.
Malabar 2017, running from July 7-17, is the latest in a series of yearly exercises that have grown in scope and complexity in recent years to confront potential threats in the Indo-Asian maritime theater.
Malabar 2017 involves both shore exchanges on naval doctrine and interoperability between the three navies, including operating with carrier strike groups and coordinating communications.
The sea-based exercises will include the USS Nimitz carrier strike group, which includes a guided-missile cruiser and three destroyers, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine, and a land-based P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol craft.
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force will have two guided-missile destroyers participating alongside a variety of Indian navy vessels and aircraft. The three navies will participate in joint surface and air warfare, medical evaluation, and high-value target defense drills.
Concerns over China rapidly modernizing and enlarging its Navy, and ongoing tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, has led to an uptick of allied naval exercises like Malabar 2017.