New Delhi: Forging closer military ties against the backdrop of rising Chinese naval power, India and Japan will hold maritime exercise JIMEX in the Bay of Bengal starting Thursday.
"The first ever Japan-India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) to be conducted in waters off the Indian coast is scheduled in the Bay of Bengal from 19-22 December," a Navy release said in New Delhi.
At the exercise, the Indian Navy will be represented by the indigenously built stealth frigate INS Satpura, destroyer INS Ranvijay and missile corvette INS Kuthar while the Japanese will field two Guided Missile destroyers, JS Ariake and JS Setogiri.
Spread over four days, the exercise focuses on maritime security cooperation and will comprise harbour and sea phases of two days each.
"During the harbour phase, the ships' crews will exchange experiences through professional interactions and will undertake planning for joint operations for the sea phase," the release said.
The exercise will serve to enhance interoperability, thereby enabling the Navies to undertake operations in the sphere of maritime security in the future, it said.
The sea phase will include exercises such as 'Visit, Board, Search and Seizure' drills frequently undertaken during anti-piracy operations, gun firing, cross deck helicopter operations and operations in anti-surface, anti-submarine and anti-air threat scenarios.
It may be recalled that India and Japan agreed upon conduct of bilateral naval exercises during Defence Minister A K Antony's visit to Japan in November 2011.
The maiden JIMEX was conducted off the coast of Japan in January 2012. The exercise is taking place at a time when China and Japan are witnessing tensions over issues in the East China Sea.