India-Australia Maritime Exercise AUSINDEX 19 Begins In Visakhapatnam
The 3rd edition of AUSINDEX, a joint maritime exercise between India and Australia, began in Visakhapatnam recently on April 2 till April 17. From the Australian side, the naval components such as Australian Naval Ship Canberra along with a landing helicopter dock, Newcastle and Paramatta, both frigates, a Durance-class multi-product replenishment oiler along with HMAS Collin and other conventional submarines have arrived in Visakhapatnam to participate in the exercise.
Amid increasing tensions in the Indian ocean which are purely due to China's ambitions, it is likely that India would see Australia as a compatible partner in its attempts to defend the region.
For this year, the Indian Navy is being represented by INS Ranvijay, a multi-role destroyer along with INS Sahyadri, a multi-role stealth frigate, INS Kora, a missile corvette, INS Kiltan and INS Sindhukirti and other conventional submarines.
In addition to embarked helicopters such as the Sea king Mk 42B and Chetak, the aviation component of the Indian Navy shall include Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers and P8I aircraft.
This third edition which was started on April 2 and will conclude on 14th of the same month, would involve exercises in all three dimensions with a focus on Anti Submarine Warfare and shall be carried out in three phases.
The First is the Sea phase which is to be carried out from April 7 to11 and shall be held in the Bay of Bengal. This shall be followed by a second phase i.e., the harbour phase which is scheduled from April 12 to 14 during which debrief and setting up of goals for the next edition of AUSINDEX, which will be hosted by Australia in the year 2021, would be discussed.
The scale of this exercise is a clear indication that the defence relationship between the two countries is steadily being consolidated. Besides this, strengthening of this bilateral partnership may, in fact, need to be an essential precursor to the further coordination and integration with the other two powers.
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