Navies from Australia and India have commenced the bilateral maritime exercise, codenamed Australia India (AUSINDEX) 2021.

The maritime exercise, which will run until 10 September, focuses on developing deeper understanding and cooperation between the the Indian Navy (IN) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Indian Navy task group comprising vessels Shivalik and Kadmatt will participate in the exercise alongside the RAN’s Anzac-class frigate HMAS Warramunga.

The participating vessels form part of the Indian Navy’s Visakhapatnam-based Eastern Fleet under the Eastern Naval Command (ENC).

The fourth iteration of AUSINDEX exercise includes complex surface, sub-surface and air operations between ships, submarines, helicopters and long-range maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) of the two participating navies.

In a press statement, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated: “The exercise is a true representation of Joint Guidance signed by the Chief of the Naval Staff, IN and Chief of Navy, RAN on 18th August 2021.

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“This important document is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ between the two nations and aims to further consolidate shared commitment to regional and global security challenges promoting peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”

AUSINDEX started in 2015 as a bilateral maritime exercise between India and Australia.

The third edition of the exercise, which was concluded in April 2019 in the Bay of Bengal, involved advanced warfare drills in all three dimensions, comprising anti-submarine, air defence, and anti-surface warfare exercises, including live-fire drills, replenishment at sea, and cross deck flying.