Amid the participation of Chinese and Pakistani warlike naval resources in the joint maritime exercise “Sea Guardian 2020”, the Indian Navy has deployed its lone aircraft carrier of Russian origin, the Vikramaditya, to the Arabian Sea - the northern Indian Ocean Region where the nine-day long exercise is underway.
Top officials of the naval headquarters were on board the aircraft carrier when it was deployed on the strategic mission, Indian news agency PTI reported, quoting military sources.
The two sides have been pursuing a number of training objectives, including joint patrol, air-defence, joint anti-submarine, maritime live-firing, and joint marine training.
The Indian Navy has deployed the carrier, with MiG29K fighters on board, against the backdrop of tensions over Kashmir with Pakistan. However, the Chinese side made it clear from the beginning of the plan that it has nothing to do with the situation in the region and is not targeted at any third party.
Nevertheless, the Pakistan Navy dropped a vision of the exercise and said that the drill will eventually become the basis for the “two navies to test and improve their technical and tactical capabilities, maintain regional marine security, learn from each other and enhance the level of cooperation, and synergy”.
After the Balakot airstrike (inside Pakistan) last February, the Indian Navy had swiftly redeployed its naval ships, aircraft, submarines, and support units to the northern Arabian Sea after the Pakistani Agosta-class submarine Saad vanished from Pakistan's waters.
Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh claimed that the navy redeployed its assets after abandoning its largest exercise TROPEX and this offensive deployment limited the options on land for Pakistan and deterred the Pakistan Navy from adventurism.
The recent tension between India and Pakistan ignited after New Delhi revoked in August 2019 the seven decades old temporary special status accorded to its administered Jammu and Kashmir state and later bifurcated it into two federally administered territories. Islamabad termed the move as a violation of a bilateral treaty, the 1972 Simla Agreement, and the UN Convention, as well.