Four Royal Australian Navy ships and one submarine have arrived in Visakhapatnam, India to participate in the third edition of Australia – India Maritime Exercise, AUSINDEX, on April 2.
The vessels arrived in India are HMAS Canberra (L02), a Canberra-class landing helicopter dock; HMAS Newcastle (FFG 06), an Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate; HMAS Parramatta (FFH 154), an Anzac-class frigate; HMAS Success (OR 304), a Durance-class multi-product replenishment oiler; and HMAS Collins (SSG 73), a Collins-class diesel-electric attack submarine.
The bilateral maritime exercise is aimed to strengthen mutual cooperation and enhance interoperability between the Royal Australia Navy (RAN) and Indian Navy (IN) by providing opportunities for interaction and exchange of professional views between the personnel of the two navies, said an Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) statement.
The third edition of AUSINDEX, scheduled from April 2 to 14, would involve exercises in all three dimensions with focus on Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) and will be held in three phases.
The harbour phase from April 2 to 7 at Visakhapatnam – will witness professional interaction in the form of Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) for sharing best practises, cross deck visits in addition to sporting, social and cultural engagement. Operational planning conferences towards the smooth conduct of the sea phase shall also be held during this period.
The sea phase, from April 7 to 11, will be held in the Bay of Bengal. This will be followed by a second harbour phase from April 12 to 14 during which debrief and setting up of goals for the next edition of AUSINDEX, which is likely to be hosted by Australia in 2021 – would be discussed.
The MRH-90 Taipan (NHIndustries NH90) and MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ helicopters, embarked on the RAN vessels, along with P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will be participating in the exercise.
The Indian Navy would be represented by INS Ranvijay (D55), a Rajput-class multi-role destroyer; INS Sahyadri (F49), a Shivalik-class multi-role stealth frigate; INS Kora (P61), a Kora-class missile corvette; INS Kiltan (P30), a Kamorta-class ASW corvette and INS Sindhukirti (S61), a Sindhughosh-class (Kilo-class) diesel-electric attack submarine.
In addition to embarked helicopters such as Seaking Mk 42B and Chetak, the aviation component of the Indian Navy will include Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers and P-8I Poseidon ASW aircraft.
The sea phase of this year’s edition is being conducted under the command of Rear Admiral Suraj Berry NM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. The RAN maritime assets would be headed by Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, the Commander of the Australian Fleet.
The number and variety of units participating in the bilateral exercise is the highest till date from both navies and signifies the importance attached to the exercise by both countries while the enhanced complexity is indicative of the interoperability between the two navies, added the Indian MoD statement.