By MarEx 2015-09-23 14:35:48
India and Australia completed the AUSINDEX-15, the first bilateral maritime exercise between the nations on September 21. The military exercises took place at Visakhapatnam and aims to strengthen ties between Australia and India.
The AUSINDEX-15 consisted mainly of anti-submarine drills and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) deployed three warships, a Collins-class submarine and an Australian Air Force P3C Orion. India provided its INS Shivalik, a stealth frigate, the INS Ranvijay, a guided missile destroyer, INS Shakti, a fleet tanker and an Indian Navy P8I maritime patrol aircraft.
China’s aggressiveness in the region appears to be the primary motivator of the exercises, which Australia and India intend to hold every two years. In July, two Chinese submarines were spotted near Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and the Chinese have also established 16 offshore platforms near disputed maritime territories.
In a statement, RAN rear admiral Jonathan Mead said: “India remains one of Australia’s key security partners in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific. We have mutual interests in promoting peace and prosperity in the region.”
In June, India, Japan and Australia participated in trilateral maritime dialogue in New Dehli. The talks were attended by Indian foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Japanese vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki and Australian secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Varghese.
Maritime security, freedom of navigation and maritime cooperation were the primary topics discussed.
India will also participate in trilateral maritime exercises with the U.S. and Japan in the Indian Ocean next month.