The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Anzac-class frigate HMAS Arunta has carried out a series of combined maritime operations during the multinational exercise Malabar 2022.

The 26th iteration of the exercise, which commenced on 8 November, involved participation of maritime forces and assets from the US, India, Australia and Japan.

It was conducted off the coast of Japan in the Philippine Sea.

Together with Arunta, the RAN’s Collins-class submarine HMAS Farncomb, Supply-class oiler HMAS Stalwart and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force participated in the exercise.

During the exercise, HMAS Arunta operated as part of a surface action group, comprising of other vessels from the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the US Navy.

The warships included JMSDF’s auxiliary oiler JS Oumi and destroyer JS Hyuga, India’s Kamorta-class anti-submarine frigate INS Kamorta along with Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Milius.

Besides, the exercise saw the Anzac-class vessel conduct ‘dual replenishment’ exercise at sea, during which Arunta and USS Milius both simultaneously received fuel from Japanese tanker ship Oumi.

Another exercise involved Arunta’s MH-60R helicopter, named Athena, to safeguard the warship from incoming sub-surface threats.

Athena performed various submarine hunting drills with HMAS Farncomb and a JMSDF’s submarine, while the helicopter’s crew carried out a combined anti-air drill to evaluate their skillsets and onboard systems.

It saw the crew safeguarding Arunta against adversaries by engaging aerial targets.

Furthermore, the RAN’s MH-60R also conducted landing operations with USS Ronald Reagan and Japan’s ship Hyuga.

HMAS Arunta commanding officer commander Jason McBain said: “The exercise was a great opportunity to work with partner nations to improve interoperability and demonstrate Australia’s commitment to Indo-Pacific region.”