The US Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) along with its Carrier Strike Group (CSG) has conducted a passing exercise (Passex) with the Indian Navy.

The CSG is deployed to the Indian Ocean in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group commander rear admiral Jim Kirk said: “It was a privilege to operate with the Indian Navy.

“RADM Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, leads a powerful and highly skilled Fleet.

“The opportunity to have the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group join with his Fleet for a series of exercises improved our interoperability and is a testimony to the flexibility of both our Navies.”

The news comes at a time when India and China are engaged in border tensions and disputes in Ladakh.

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It also comes after the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group carried out high-end dual-carrier exercises in the South China Sea (SCS).

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group has also conducted operations with the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in the SCS.

Kirk added: “Nimitz and Reagan Carrier Strike Groups are operating in the South China Sea, wherever international law allows, to reinforce our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, a rules-based international order, and to our allies and partners in the region.

“Security and stability are essential to peace and prosperity for all nations, and it is for that reason the US Navy has been present and ready in the Pacific for over 75 years.”

Furthermore, reports emerged that Australia is expected to join India, the US and Japan for the Malabar exercise to be held later this year.