A major naval exercise to be held next month, by Australia and India, with an eye on China. The exercise focuses on anti-submarine warfare as a part of efforts to ramp up bilateral naval cooperation in the strategic Indian Ocean region. An Indian submarine will be involved in the exercise.
According to an Australian diplomatic source, the third instalment of the AUSINDEX exercise will be held off the coast of Vishakhapatnam from April 2 to 16 and will see the largest Australian defence forces group deployment in India. The area of the exercise will be within 200 miles of Vishakhapatnam.
The participants in the exercise will be over 1,000 Australian defence personnel, HMAS Canberra (landing helicopter dock), Auxiliry Oiler Replenishment vessel, and two frigates – HMAS Newcastle and HMAS Parramatta.
The exercise’s interesting feature will be the deployment of Australian personnel on Indian ships and vice versa. The P81 and P8 maritime patrol aircraft will also involve in the exercise.
Engagement with India, one of Australia’s key strategic partners in the Indian Ocean region, will be the cornerstone for Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE19) with a number of high-level activities to be conducted to showcase the breadth and depth of the bilateral relationship, the Australian diplomatic source said.
China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific region has been a matter of concern for other regional naval powers such as India, Australia, and the US.