PTI, New Delhi: The Indian Navy's chance to exercise with giant US Naval carriers has been delayed with the Pacific Command only fielding a nuclear submarine and two Perry class frigates in the scaled down sixth series of Malabar joint exercises, starting off the Goa Coast on October 1.
Under the schedule worked out by the joint Naval group steering committee, the US Navy was expected to field one of its nuclear powered carrier in the exercises and it would have been for the first time that Indian Naval warships would have had a chance to match their skills against these giant carriers.
Though the Naval sources said there was no scaling down of the Joint Naval exercises, highly placed sources said that recent ship-docking tiffs off the Mumbai Coast had cast its shadow on the exercises.
Last year, over nine warships including a Los Angeles class Nuclear submarines had taken part in the joint exercises off the Cochin Coast and this year the Navies had agreed to boost participation by including US and Indian carriers.
Indian Navy would be pitching its indigenously built Brahmaputra class anti-submarine warfare frigate and a Delhi class destroyer in the five-day exercise in which the Russian acquired TU-142M maritime reconaisance aircraft, along with Sea Kings and Cheetah helicopters would also be participating.