Maritime forces from 15 coalition nations are set to take part in the 23rd Kakadu 2014 exercise.

It is claimed to be the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) largest maritime warfare exercise and will be held from 25 August to 12 September in Darwin, Australia.

Mainly aimed at concentrating neighbours from the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean regions to develop and improve maritime capabilities, the exercise involves 1,200 personnel, eight warships and 26 aircraft.

"Solid naval cooperation enables a secure and stable maritime environment."

During the opening week, the participants will perform tactical warfare planning and cultural exchanges in Darwin, followed by high-end warfare serials at sea such as naval gunfire, communications, boarding and air defence.

Australian Fleet commander rear admiral Stuart Mayer said: "We will focus on the maritime warfare aspects common to all of the forces involved, so we can further develop mutual understanding in multilateral operations.

"Solid naval cooperation enables a secure and stable maritime environment, ultimately leading to safety, trust, peace and prosperity on the high seas for all.

"Australia has strong and enduring relationships with all of the participants here today and we are very pleased to be hosting them for one of our most important warfare exercises."

The exercise will involve warships and aircraft from Australia, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vanuatu.

Participants from the RAN include HMA ships Sydney, Stuart, Newcastle and Arunta, along with S-70-B2 ‘Seahawk’, Bell 429 and MRH90 ‘Taipan’ helicopters.

The Royal Australian Air Force will send four 127 Hawks, four F/A-18F Super Hornets, an E-7A Wedgetail and an AP-3C Orion.

Defence Technology