New Delhi, Apr 2 : The bilateral maritime exercise between India and Australia “AUSINDEX-2019” conducted on the east coast of India, commenced at Visakhaptnam on Tuesday. It is the third edition of joint naval exercise between both the nations. The drill will conclude on April 7.
Australian Ships (HMAS) Canberra (L02), a Landing Helicopter Dock, Newcastle (06) and Paramatta (154), both frigates and Success (OR 304), a Durance-class multi-product replenishment oiler along with HMAS Collins, a conventional submarine arrived Visakhapatnam to participate in the exercise. “The bilateral maritime exercise is aimed to strengthen mutual cooperation and enhance interoperability between the Royal Australia Navy (RAN) and Indian Navy (IN) by providing opportunities for interaction and exchange of professional views between the personnel of the two navies,” an Indian Navy spokesperson said.
The joint drill would involve exercises in all three dimensions with focus on Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) and shall be held in three phases. The harbour phase from April 2-7 at Visakhapatnam – ‘the City of Destiny’ shall witness professional interaction in the form of Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) for sharing best practices, cross deck visits in addition to sporting, social and cultural engagement.
Operational planning conferences towards the smooth conduct of the sea phase shall also be held during this period. The sea phase is scheduled to take place from April 7-11 in the Bay of Bengal. This shall be followed by a second harbour phase April 12-14 during which debrief and setting up of goals for the next edition of AUSINDEX, which is likely to be hosted by Australia in 2021 – would be discussed.
The Indian Navy is being represented by INS Ranvijay, a multi-role destroyer, INS Sahyadri, a multi-role stealth frigate, INS Kora, a missile corvette, INS Kiltan, an ASW corvette and INS Sindhukirti, a conventional submarine. In addition to embarked helicopters such as Seaking Mk 42B and Chetak, the aviation component of the IN shall include Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers and P8I ASW aircraft.
The sea phase of this year’s edition is being conducted under the command of Eastern Naval Command Flag Officer Commanding Rear Admiral Suraj Berry. The RAN maritime assets would be headed by Australian Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead. The number and variety of units participating in the bilateral exercise is the highest till date from both navies and signifies the importance attached to the exercise by both countries while the enhanced complexity is indicative of the interoperability between the two navies, the spokesperson added. The current exercise will contribute towards consolidating bonds of friendship across the seas. (UNI)