Australia's Northern Territory will host the biennial AUSINDEX maritime warfare exercises between the Royal Australian Navy and the Indian Navy.
AUSINDEX21, scheduled between September 5 and 13, includes a contactless, COVID Safe harbour phase in Darwin, followed by a sea phase in the North Australian Exercise Area. This is the first time AUSINDEX has been held in the Northern Territory, an Australian Department of Defence statement notes.
AUSINDEX 21 provides both Navies with an opportunity to strengthen joint defence capabilities to support a stable and secure Indo-Pacific region.
The exercise will see Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga train alongside Indian Navy warships INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt, the statement said.
The ships will be joined by an Australian submarine, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, RAAF tactical fighter jets, and embarked helicopters from both navies.
Rear Admiral Tarun Sobti, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, said the exercise would build on the recent Navy-to-Navy warfare training conducted during Phase One of Exercise MALABAR 21 off Guam.
"This exercise will further strengthen the bilateral partnership and interoperability with the Royal Australian Navy in the Indo-Pacific region. We are looking forward to adopting best practices from the RAN and to build on the warfare training standards achieved in Exercise MALABAR 21," he said.
First held in 2015, AUSINDEX has increased in complexity with each iteration. The successful 2019 event in India saw the first anti-submarine warfare exercises and the first coordinated P-8 maritime patrol aircraft missions over the Bay of Bengal.