The 23rd Kakadu 2014 maritime warfare exercise, which was intended to develop and improve maritime capabilities, has successfully concluded.

The 19-day exercise involved 1,200 personnel, eight warships and 26 aircrafts from 15 coalition nations, including Australia, Japan, Pakistan, New Zealand and the Philippines.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN)-hosted exercise also included naval assets from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vanuatu.

"Exercises like Kakadu are important to the defence of Australia and the region."

Aimed at assessing the participating naval forces’ potential to work together in a realistic and volatile warfare environment, the exercise involved tactical warfare planning and cultural exchanges in Darwin, Australia, followed by high-end warfare serials at sea such as naval gunfire, communications, boarding and air defence.

The naval assets were divided into two fleets for a fictitious battle over uncertain maritime territory.

The fleet successfully executed 19 helicopter operations, 18 air defence serials, 18 simulated anti-submarine drills, 11 gun tracking or firings and four replenishment-at-sea serials, as well as two towing exercises and one light-line transfer.

Kakadu exercise director captain Heath Robertson said: "The exercise controllers in the headquarters ashore injected intelligence feeds into each force ‘Blueland’ and ‘Redland’ to lead them down a certain course of action, and test maritime interoperability.

"Both forces did exceptionally well and proved that the collaborative tactical planning and graduated training during the first two weeks of the exercise enabled us to understand and improve how each other work.

"Exercises like Kakadu are important to the defence of Australia and the region."

Defence Technology