New Delhi: India and Australia are set to further deepen defence and strategic relationship with the third edition of the biennial, bilateral exercise AUSINDEX 19 from April 2 to April 16 at Vishakhapatnam. The upcoming exercise will focus on anti-submarine warfare and will see Australia’s largest defence force deployment in India.
Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu said: “This exercise is part of the strong and growing Australia-India strategic partnership. Australia and India are working together to promote peace and prosperity based on our shared values and interests in a stable, secure, rules-based and inclusive Indo-Pacific.”
“Australia clearly sees India in the top tier of our international relationships. With both countries having extensive maritime zones in the Indian Ocean and significant maritime capabilities, it makes sense for Australia and India to do more together to ensure the Indian Ocean remains free, open and inclusive,” the High Commissioner added.
More than 1,000 Australian defence force personnel comprising Navy, Army and Air force assets will work together with their Indian counterparts on naval manoeuvres and military training activities
“The complexity of the exercise demonstrates the close Australia – India defence relationship and interoperability between our two navies,” the High Commissioner said.
The exercise is the cornerstone of a wider Indo-Pacific endeavour deployment by Australia which will see the Task Force conduct port visits to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
The deployment will include the Royal Australian Navy ships HMAS Success and HMAS Parramatta which will arrive in Chennai on March 28. The two ships will join HMAS Canberra and HMAS Newcastle in Visakhapatnam for the exercise which will be conducted by the Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy.
“The deployment reinforces Australia’s commitment to engaging all Indo-Pacific nations and promoting regional maritime security cooperation,” the High Commissioner said.