India and Australia conclude first Ausindex15 bilateral maritime exercise
India and Australia have successfully completed the first bilateral maritime exercise, Ausindex15, at Visakhapatnam in India, which aimed to strengthen the defence co-operation between the countries.
The latest exercise is part of the framework for security cooperation announced by the Australian and Indian Prime Ministers in 2014.
Royal Australian Navy (RAN) head navy capability rear admiral Jonathan Mead said: "India remains one of Australia's key security partners in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific.
"We have mutual interests in promoting peace and prosperity in the region."
Ausindex15 exercise saw the participation of three RAN ships, HMA Ships Sirius, Arunta and Sheehan, and a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C aircraft.
It also involved the Indian Navy warships, including Shivalik, Ranvijayi and Shakti, as well as its P-8I maritime patrol aircraft.
The exercise started with briefings and practical demonstrations ashore, and later progressed to sea for surface and anti-submarine warfare, as well as coordinated anti-submarine exercises.
In June, India and Australia conducted the first-ever high-level trilateral dialogue to enhance military co-operation between the countries. Japan was also involved in the talks.
Defence sources had previously hinted the possibility of a trilateral naval exercise between these countries.
According to sources, the primary agenda of this high-level meeting was maritime security, including freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and trilateral maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
This bilateral maritime exercise is expected to be held every two years.
Image: The sea phase of Ausindex 2015 was concluded with the participating Indian and Australian ships. Photo: courtesy of LSIS Bradley Darvill / Commonwealth of Australia.