Navies hold exercise in Indian Ocean

Navies hold exercise in Indian Ocean

Navies hold exercise in Indian Ocean

Updated 19 December 2011, 13:58 AEDT

An international naval drill is underway in the Indian Ocean focusing on anti-piracy, reconnaissance and rescue missions.

A total of 27 ships and submarines from the United States, Australia, Japan and Singapore joined seven from India in the Bay of Bengal, at the northwestern entrance to the Malacca Strait, for the six-day exercises.

It is the biggest peacetime joint military exercises in recent years and includes the super-aircraft carriers USS Nimitz, USS Kitty Hawk.

Some 160 fighter planes backed by reconnaissance aircraft, will be constantly in the air during the wargames.

The exercises will also touch the Malacca Strait, a 805-kilometre channel between Malaysia and Sumatra that accounts for 60 per cent of the world's maritime energy transport.