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India-Australia maritime exercise begins in Visakhapatnam

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Indian and Australian naval assets during AUSINDEX 2017. Photo: Indian Navy/File

NEW DELHI (PTI): The third edition of AUSINDEX, a joint maritime exercise between India and Australia, began in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, Indian Navy said.

Australian Navy’s landing helicopter dock HMAS Canberra, frigates Newcastle and Paramatta, a Durance-class multi-role 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 Indian Navy would include Dornier maritime patrol aircraft, Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers and P8I aircraft.

The bilateral maritime exercise is aimed at strengthening mutual cooperation and enhance interoperability between the Royal Australian 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.

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