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Five Nations Hold Joint Naval Exercises
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India, the United States, Japan, Australia and Singapore held combined "Malabar" naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday.

This biggest-ever war games in the international waters between Visakhapatnam and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands will end on September 9. This will also be the first time when 26 warships from other nations practice not far from the Indian coastline. The last time such a large flotilla of US warships entered the region was in 1971.

The exercises involve three aircraft carriers, two from the United States -- USS Nimitz and USS Kitty Hawk -- and one from India, hundreds of military aircraft, destroyers, frigates and submarines. Besides the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, India is fielding maritime Jaguar and Sea Harrier fighters, Tu-142 surveillance planes, Delhi and Kashin Class destroyers, Godavari and Brahmaputra Class guided missile frigates and a German origin submarine.

The exercises will involve capsules of anti-piracy, anti-marine terrorism, air defense, surveillance and interception elements.

(Xinhua News Aency September 4, 2007)

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