The naval forces from India, Japan and the US have commenced the annual joint naval exercise, Exercise Malabar 2015, in the Bay of Bengal.

Designed to enhance naval cooperation through engagement, the exercise will involve the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Airwing (CVW) 1, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and Indian frigate INS Shivalik (F 47).

Carrier Strike Group 12 future plans and staff meteorological and oceanographic officer lieutenant commander Erin Ceschini said: "We are three democratic countries that are working together to strengthen our military relationships, as well as the relationships between our nations.

"The success of these exercises is important especially considering the effort, planning and resources put into this exercise for these great navies to work together."

The exercise will see a series of complex exercises in a bid to advance multi-national maritime relationships and mutual security.

"We are three democratic countries that are working together to strengthen our military relationships."

The Indian Navy will send Rajput-class destroyer, Shivalik and Brahmaputra-class frigates, fleet support ship, and INS Sindhudhwaj in addition to P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft, while the Japanese force will deploy its Akizuki-class guided missile destroyer.

Normandy air defence officer lieutenant Sean McDonnell said: "We launched aircraft from TR to simulate scenarios to exercise the Indian’s self-defence.

"[It] supports the overall Malabar exercise by sharing how we control aircraft and learning how the Indian Navy controls their aircraft."

This year’s Malabar Exercise marks the participation of Japan as a permanent member in the annual drill. Japan joined the exercise in 2007, 2009, and 2014 as a foreign invitee.

Image: Officers from Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, and US Navy meet as part of Exercise Malabar. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 2nd class Joe Bishop / Released.