Canberra, June 15: Indian warships began a week-long naval ‘AUSINDEX’ exercise off the coast of Western Australia. Three Indian naval vessels have arrived in Fremantle ahead of a bilateral exercise with Royal Australian Navy assets.
The so-called Exercise Australia-India (AUSINDEX) is the first-ever bilateral military exercise in Australian waters involving the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy and aims to develop “a deeper understanding and cooperation between the two navies,” according to an Australian Department of Defense statement.
“AUSINDEX is a terrific opportunity to increase our interoperability and enhance the professional interaction of two great navies,” the Commander of the Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, said. “Amidst a very busy operational program for the Indian Navy, I am pleased to welcome their ships to Fremantle and look forward to a challenging and rewarding Sea program,” he added. “AUSINDEX is the centerpiece naval exercise held between Australia and India and is an important component of this year’s fleet program,” Mayer emphasized.
The guided missile frigate INS Shivalik the first stealth warship built in India, the anti-submarine stealth corvette INS Kamorta (also built in India), and oiler INS Jyoti make up the trio.
The second AUSINDEX exercises are aimed at increasing interoperability between Australian and Indian naval forces, executing complex naval maneuvers. The first AUSINDEX was held in the Bay of Bengal in 2015. As the only countries with the largest Indian Ocean coastline, Australia and India are natural partners in maritime security, particularly in the region where India has its greatest strategic interests. In the past couple of years, the two countries have ramped up security cooperation beyond mil-to-mil exercises.