India and Australia will undertake their first bilateral maritime exercise – AUSINDEX in Vishakhapatnam next month. This was announced by the Defence Minister Manohar Parikar who is on his two-day visit to Australia after meeting his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith in Perth.
With this good news and the both the navies eager to know each other & their weapons well, here I bring you all that you need to know about it as a defence aspirant:
- This is the first ever bilateral maritime exercise between India and Australia.
- Three Royal Australian Navy ships and a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C aircraft are expected to travel to India for the week-long exercise.
- The exercise will be held off the Vizag coast, between September 16 and 18.
- The joint maritime exercise between the two nations assumes significance in the backdrop of China trying to gain access to the Bay of Bengal, by cultivating naval cooperation with Bangladesh, Myanmar and military cooperation with Sri Lanka, while India is trying to strengthen its naval cooperation with her allies.
- The drills, first discussed a decade ago, come as global powers vie for greater influence. The Indian Ocean’s sea lanes account for almost half of the world’s container trade, including 80 percent of China’s oil imports.
- Though, initially, India had wanted to include Japan in the upcoming exercise, making it a trilateral, it was later decided that the exercise would be held only with Australia.
- Earlier, inclusion of Japan and Australia in the Indo-US annual maritime exercise — Malabar, in Bay of Bengal in 2007, had rattled China.
- The exercise will include table top exercises, scenarios and practical demonstrations ashore, as well as a sea phase.The practice will embody list tip exercises, scenarios and unsentimental demonstrations ashore, as good as a sea phase.
- At sea, surface and anti-submarine warfare and coordinated anti-submarine exercises will be conducted.
- Significantly, the US is the main security ally of Australia, which is looking at rebalancing the Asia Pacific region and expecting India, Australia, Japan to strengthen their ties.
- A month later in the same waters, India and the United States will conduct drills in October-“Malabar” that U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma described as the most complex yet between the two nations. Japan has been invited to join.