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Australia stages exercises with India, Singapore

Singaporean CH-47 Chinook with Australian LHD HMAS Canberra
A Republic of Singapore Air Force CH-47 Chinook conducts training with HMAS Canberra during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 21. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australia will be hosting Indian Navy ships this week in the Northern Territory for the biennial AUSINDEX maritime warfare exercises.

AUSINDEX 21 is the fourth iteration of the exercise and will provide the two navies an opportunity to strengthen joint defense capabilities.

“Australia and India are comprehensive strategic partners. We share a commitment to increasing the regularity and complexity of our military training so we can be confident in our ability to work effectively to respond to the maritime security needs in our region,” Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, said.

“Each time our nations come together we develop further maritime interoperability by exercising more involved warfare serials demonstrating our strong commitment to an open, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

AUSINDEX 21 will be held between September 5 and 13, and includes a contactless harbor phase in Darwin, followed by a sea phase in the North Australian Exercise Area.

The exercise will see Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Warramunga train alongside Indian Navy warships INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt.

The ships will be joined by an Australian submarine, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, RAAF tactical fighter jets, as well as embarked helicopters from both navies.

Prior to AUSINDEX, Australian Navy ships honed interoperability with Singaporean forces during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2021 (IPE21).

A cooperative activity held earlier this month combined elements from Mine Warfare Team 16, Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), air and marine capabilities.

A precision ‘at sea’ landing of a Republic of Singapore Air Force Boeing CH-47 on the flight deck of HMAS Canberra, handled by RAN Commander Josh Carey’s flight team, was one of the highlights of the activity.

The day began early when Republic of Singapore Navy ships RSS Vigour and Stalwart joined the Australian ships and commenced flag hoist training.

Ship-driving maneuvers were followed by the helicopter landing training and a spectacular air defense exercise, featuring flypasts of four Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15 fighters.