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India, Australia to hold joint exercise AUSINDEX this week

September 07, 2021 02:54 PM

Canberra, The Royal Australian Navy is holding the biennial AUSINDEX maritime exercise with the Indian Navy in the Northern Territory of Australia.

A statement from Australia's Department of Defence said the exercise, which began on Sunday, will continue till September 13.

Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, said the exercise would build on the recent navy-to-navy warfare training that was conducted during Phase One of Exercise MALABAR 21 off Guam.

“This exercise will further strengthen the bilateral partnership and interoperability with the Royal Australian Navy in the Indo-Pacific region. We are looking forward to adopting best practices from the RAN and to build on the warfare training standards achieved in Exercise MALABAR 21,” he said.

Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond said the exercise will deepen the defence relationship between the two countries.

“Australia and India are comprehensive strategic partners. We 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," he said.

“Each time our nations come together we develop further maritime interoperability by exercising more involved warfare serials demonstrating our strong commitment to an open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” he added.

AUSINDEX 21 includes a contactless, COVID-safe harbour phase in Darwin, followed by a sea phase in the North Australian Exercise Area.

The exercise will see Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga train alongside Indian Navy warships INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt.

The ships will be joined by an Australian submarine, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, RAAF tactical fighter jets, as well as helicopters from both navies.

First held in 2015, AUSINDEX has increased in complexity with each iteration. The successful 2019 event in India saw the first anti-submarine warfare exercises and also the first coordinated P‑8 maritime patrol aircraft missions take place over the Bay of Bengal.

This is the first time AUSINDEX has been held in the Northern Territory.

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