The cooperation between India and Australia on shared maritime security interests in the Indian Ocean is set to rise to a new level with the third iteration of their biennial, bilateral exercise AUSINDEX 19 off the coast of Vishakhapatnam in Bay of Bengal from 2-16 April.

It will see the largest ever Australian Defence Force Joint Task Force comprising Navy, Army and Air Force assets to visit India.

Australia’s High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu said, “This exercise is part of the strong and growing Australia-India strategic partnership. Australia and India are working together to promote peace and prosperity based on our shared values and interests in a stable, secure, rules-based and inclusive Indo-Pacific.”

More than 1,000 Australian Defence Force personnel will work together with their Indian counterparts on naval manoeuvres and military training activities. AUSINDEX 19 will focus on anti-submarine warfare. The complexity of the exercise demonstrates the close Australia – India defence relationship and interoperability between our two navies.

“Australia clearly sees India in the top tier of our international relationships. With both countries having extensive maritime zones in the Indian Ocean and significant maritime capabilities, it makes sense for Australia and India to do more together to ensure the Indian Ocean remains free, open and inclusive,” added Sidhu.

AUSINDEX is the cornerstone of a wider Indo-Pacific endeavour deployment which will see the Task Force conduct port visits to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

The deployment will include the Royal Australian Navy ships HMAS Success and HMAS Parramatta which will arrive in Chennai on 28 March. They will join HMAS Canberra and HMAS Newcastle in Visakhapatnam for AUSINDEX 19 which will be conducted by the Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy.

The deployment reinforces Australia’s commitment to engaging all Indo-Pacific nations and promoting regional maritime security cooperation.