New Delhi: Notwithstanding fears of a tsunami following a powerful earthquake off Indonesia on Wednesday, the navies of India and the US carried out their joint exercises off the coast of Chennai.
The 10-day long annual exercise codenamed 'Malabar', in the Bay of Bengal which started on April 7, will continue without restriction, Indian Navy officials said in New Delhi.
Tackling natural disasters such as Tsunami is part of the training sessions being conducted there, they said "The ships of both the navies are sailing further south of Chennai and the exercise will continue as planned. There is no change in schedule and even if Tsunami had happened we would not have changed the plans," they said.
They said that conducting rescue and relief operations in situation like Tsunami is part of Navy's operational readiness plans as well as a component of the on-going exercise.
"Handling a situation like Tsunami is part of the war games and we would have preferred to test our drills in a real time situation," they said.
Indian Navy ships such as the indigenously built guided missile frigate INS Satpura, guided missile destroyers INS Ranvijay and INS Ranvir, missile corvette INS Kulish and fleet tanker INS Shakti are participating in the exercise.
Maritime patrol aircraft Tu-142M and other rotary wing aircraft have also been dispatched for the war games.
The US Navy is being represented by ships from the Carrier Task Force (CTF) 70 of the US 7 Fleet based at Yokosuka in Japan.
The CTF includes aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, guided missile cruiser USS Bunkerhill, guided missile destroyer USS Halsey and logistics ship UNNS Bridge.
Los Angeles-class submarine USS Louisville and a P3C Orion aircraft are also involved in it. Malabar-2012 is the 16th exercise in the series which started in 1992.