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'India-Australia bilateral defence exercise will deepen strategic ties'


Press Trust of India New Delhi
India and Australia would further deepen defence and strategic relationship with the third iteration of bilateral exercise AUSINDEX 19, which will see the largest Australian defence joint task force to visit India.
The Australian High Commission, in a statement, said that Australia and India's cooperation on shared maritime security interests in the Indian Ocean is set to rise to a new level with the biennial, bilateral exercise.
"It will see the largest ever Australian Defence Force Joint Task Force comprised of Navy, Army and Air Force Assets to visit India," the statement said.
Australia's High Commissioner to India Harinder Sidhu said the 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," she said.
"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.
The High Commission said that 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, it said.
The Australian High Commission said 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 March 28. 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 from April 2-16.
The deployment reinforces Australia's commitment to engaging all Indo-Pacific nations and promoting regional maritime security cooperation, the Commission added.

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First Published: Mar 27 2019 | 9:15 PM IST

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