Aiming to further strengthen their interoperability in the Indo-Pacific region navies of India and Australia started their biennial AUSINDEX maritime warfare exercise on Monday (Sept 6, 2021). The five day (Sept 6-10) drill started in Darwin under Australia’s Northern Territory, and for a stable and a secure Indo-Pacific Region will provide the two navies an opportunity to further strengthen their joint defence capabilities. And will help in deepening the bilateral partnership between the two sides and exchanging best practices.
“The exercise is going to build on the recent navy-to-navy warfare training that was conducted during Phase One of Exercise MALABAR 21 off Guam,” said Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
This is the fourth iteration of AUSINDEX.
Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, Commander Australian Fleet, said, “The two countries are comprehensive strategic partners. Both share a commitment to increasing the regularity and complexity of our military training so we can be confident in our ability to work effectively to respond to the maritime security needs in our region.”
This edition of AUSINDEX is expected to further deepen the defence relationship between the two countries.
Adding, “We develop further maritime interoperability by exercising more involved warfare serials demonstrating our strong commitment to an open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.”
More about the AUSINDEX
According to the Indian Navy, while the harbour phase of the exercise commenced on Sunday in Darwin, the sea phase would be held in the North Australian exercise area.
From India, platforms like INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt, which are indigenously designed and built Guided Missile Stealth Frigate and Anti-Submarine Corvette respectively. Both are participating and are of the Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam under the Eastern Naval Command.
And from Australia there is Frigate HMAS Warramunga, and an Australian submarine, RAAF tactical fighter jets, and a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A maritime patrol aircraft.
Helicopters from both navies will be participating as well.
The first time the two countries held maritime exercises was in 2015. In the previous edition of the drill in the Bay of Bengal in 2019, there were first coordinated P‑8 maritime patrol aircraft missions and first anti-submarine warfare exercises.
In August this year, a Joint Guidance was signed by the Chief of the Naval Staff, IN and Chief of Navy RAN. The document inked is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ between the two nations.