Indian Naval Ships Sail Into Australian Waters for Bilateral Drills
A month after rejecting Canberra's request for participating in the Malabar exercise, three Indian naval ships arrived at Australian port Fremantle for the week-long bilateral exercise AUSINDEX-17. This would be the second edition of the exercise after the first in 2015 at Visakhapatnam.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – The three ships – INS Kamorta, INS Shivalik and INS Jyoti – will participate in the exercise aimed "to increase interoperability and forge strong bonds of friendship across the seas." Kamorta is an anti-submarine stealth corvette, Shivalik is a stealth multi-role frigate and Jyoti is a replenishment oiler.
"In addition, as part of the Indian Government's vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has also been involved in assisting countries in the Indian Ocean Region with exclusive economic zone surveillance, search and rescue, and other capacity-building and capability-enhancement activities," the Indian Navy said in a statement.
The joint naval drill has special importance for the two countries as India rejected an Australian request to participate in the India-led Malabar naval exercise this year. The naval forces of India, the US and Japan hold the exercise in the Indian Ocean but it is anticipated that the countries declined the Australian request out of fear of antagonizing China.
"AUSINDEX is a terrific opportunity to increase our interoperability and enhance the professional interaction of two great navies. Australian and India share a commitment to a stable and prosperous Indian Ocean region," Australian Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer, said.
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