India-Australia maritime exercise begins in Visakhapatnam

    New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) The third edition of  AUSINDEX, a joint maritime exercise between India and Australia, began in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, the Navy said.
    Australian Navy Ship (HMAS) Canberra, a landing helicopter dock, Newcastle and Paramatta, both frigates, a Durance-class multi-product replenishment oiler along with HMAS Collins, a conventional submarine, arrived in Visakhapatnam to participate in the third edition of AUSINDEX.
    The Indian Navy would be represented by INS Ranvijay, a multi-role destroyer, INS Sahyadri, a multi-role stealth frigate, INS Kora, a missile corvette, INS Kiltan and INS Sindhukirti, conventional submarines.
    In addition to embarked helicopters such as the Seaking Mk 42B and Chetak, the aviation component of the Indian Navy shall include Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers and P8I aircraft.
    The bilateral maritime exercise is aimed to strengthen mutual cooperation and enhance interoperability between the Royal Australia Navy (RAN) and Indian Navy by providing opportunities for interaction and exchange of professional views between the personnel of the two navies, the Navy said in a statement.
    "The third edition of AUSINDEX scheduled from April 2 to 14 would involve exercises in all three dimensions with focus on Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) and shall be held in three phases," the statement said.  
    The harbour phase shall witness professional interaction in the form of Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) for sharing best practises, cross deck visits in addition to sporting, social and cultural engagement, it said.
    Operational planning conferences towards the smooth conduct of the sea phase shall also be held during this period, it added.
    The sea phase from April 7-11 shall be held in the Bay of Bengal. 
    This shall be followed by a second harbour phase from April 12 to 14 during which debrief and setting up of goals for the next edition of AUSINDEX, which is likely to be hosted by Australia in 2021, would be discussed. PTI PR SOM