The Australian Department of Defence has announced that the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels HMAS Anzac and HMAS Sirius will participate in the maritime Exercise La Perouse.

The RAN ships will join vessels from France, India, Japan and the US for the French-led multinational maritime exercise.

This annual exercise will be conducted from 5-7 April this year in the Bay of Bengal.

La Perouse is named in honour of an 18th century French naval officer and explorer.

Welcoming the exercise, Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton noted that the country’s participation highlights the significance of building strong ‘navy-to-navy’ relationships in the region.

Dutton added: “This exercise will see an Australian frigate and auxiliary oiler conduct a range of activities, including officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres, replenishments at sea and flying operations.

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“Exercise La Perouse will also demonstrate the complementary capability of our partner nations and highlight our shared commitment to a stable and secure Indo-Pacific.”

Australian Task Force Commander Rear Admiral Mark Hammond said La Perouse would refine the skills of over 260 RAN personnel participating in the exercise.

Hammond added: “Exercising with other navies strengthens our collective mariner skills and re-affirms our commitment to maintaining robust working relationships with our partners in the region.

“By training together we learn from one another, and we look forward to showing our partner navies what skills we bring to Exercise La Perouse.”

Post conclusion of the exercise, the two RAN ships will continue their deployment, carrying out further international engagements across the region.

In May 2019, US Navy and three other allied nations took part in La Perouse exercises in the Gulf of Bengal.