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Defence hosts Indian Navy in Top End

Defence hosts Indian Navy in Top End

A biennial maritime warfare exercise between Australia and India will be hosted in the Northern Territory for the first time.

A biennial maritime warfare exercise between Australia and India will be hosted in the Northern Territory for the first time.

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga is set to train alongside Indian Navy warships INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt as part of the fourth iteration of AUSINDEX — a maritime warfare exercise providing the forces with an opportunity to strengthen joint defence capabilities in support of a stable and secure Indo-Pacific region.

A Collins Class submarine, a RAAF P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, RAAF tactical fighter jets, and embarked helicopters from both navies are also expected to take part throughout the course of the exercise.

For the first time, AUSINDEX 21, which will be held between 5-13 September, will include a contactless harbour phase in Darwin, followed by a sea phase in the North Australian Exercise Area.

“Australia and India are comprehensive strategic partners,” Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond said.

“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.

“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.”

Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, said AUSINDEX 21 would build on the navy-to-navy training conducted during phase one of Exercise Malabar 21 off the coast of 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.

AUSINDEX was first conducted in 2015. During the 2019 iteration in India, anti-submarine warfare exercises and P-8 maritime patrol aircraft missions took place over the Bay of Bengal for the first time.

[Related: Upgraded HMAS Warramunga completes first deployment]

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