Malabar Exercise 2020: Indian Navy tanker simultaneously refuels warships at sea
The process called underway replenishment is a complicated task but the Indian Navy made it look simple
The Indian Navy demonstrated the ‘Underway Replenishment (UNREP)’ today during the ongoing Joint Naval Exercise Malabar 2020 in which all Quad Dialogue members India, Japan, Australia and the United States are participating together for the first time.
Indian Navy Ship INS Shakti refuelled warships simultaneously at sea. INS Shakti is a Deepak-class fleet tanker currently in service and was commissioned into the Navy in 2011. Indian Navy currently has two Deepak-class tankers in service.
Underway replenishment is an activity through which fuel, ammunition, supplies and personnel are transferred from one ship to another while they are at sea. It is done to save time and is useful when ships are deployed for a longer duration.
The transfer is not easy, though INS Shakti refuelled warships simultaneously and the Navy called it “like a walk in the park.”
The Indian Navy tweeted a video saying, “#Warships sustain prolonged deployments at sea by receiving fuel, ammunition & stores while “underway.” Underway Replenishment (#UNREP) a complex Seamanship manoeuvre- looks like a walk in the park- as #INSShakti simultaneously refuels warships during #Malabar 20.”
#Warships sustain prolonged deployments at sea by receiving fuel, ammunition & stores while "underway".— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) November 6, 2020
Underway Replenishment (#UNREP)
a complex Seamanship manoeuvre - looks like a walk in the park - as #INSShakti simultaneously refuels warships during #Malabar_20. pic.twitter.com/HgXArixumc
The US Pacific Fleet also tweeted images of the "replenishment-at-sea".
USS John S. McCain, Japan's JS Onami and Australia's HMAS Ballarat conduct a replenishment-at-sea with India's INS Shakti in the Indian Ocean on Wednesday during exercise #Malabar. #Interoperability #NavyPartnerships pic.twitter.com/ZFsyWfDLzp— U.S. Pacific Fleet (@USPacificFleet) November 5, 2020
Phase-1 of the 24th edition of the Naval Exercise Malabar Exercise 2020 began on November 3 off the coast of Visakhapatnam in the Bay of Bengal.
The Indian Navy ships that have participated in the Exercise include destroyer Ranvijay, frigate Shivalik, offshore patrol vessel Sukanya, fleet support ship Shakti and submarine Sindhuraj.
Apart from that, advanced jet trainer Hawk, long-range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I, Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, and helicopters are also participating in the exercise.
The United States has sent United States Ship (USS) John S McCain (Guided-missile destroyer) to participate in the exercise.
Australia has sent HMAS Ballarat (long range frigates) with integral MH-60 helicopter, and Japan Maritime Self Defence Ship (JMSDF) Onami (Destroyer) with integral SH-60 helicopter are participating in the exercise.
The maritime exercise is a way to showcase the high-levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies.
The sides demonstrate a vivid display of their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.
This time, the exercise is being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second phase of Malabar Exercise 2020 will be carried out in the Arabian sea in mid-November.