Eye on Indian Ocean, India-Australia joint naval exercise to begin April 2

News Summary

  • India and Australia will hold the bilateral naval exercise AUSINDEX-2019 from in April 2019.
  • AUSINDEX-2019 is the core naval exercise of Australia’s ‘Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019’.


In focus: AUSINDEX-2019

  • Introduction
    • AUSINDEX 2019 is the third version of the bilateral naval exercise between India and Australia to be held off coast in Visakhapatnam.
    • AUSINDEX was held for the 1st time in 2015 in Bay of Bengal followed by one in 2017 in western Australian port of Freemantle.
  • AUSINDEX 2019
    • Theme – ‘Anti-submarine warfare’
    • It will involve deployment of 4 ships, a Colin-class submarine and an anti-submarine warfare aircraft of Australia (P-8A).
    • Indian deployment includes 4 ships, a kilo-class submarine and a land-based anti-submarine attack aircraft, Hawk.


In brief: Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019

  • Australia is increasingly trying to embark upon its role as a major maritime power in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • In that direction it announced the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019.
  • Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 involves exercises and cooperation with 7 countries in the IOR including Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Singapore.
  • AUSINDEX 2019 is the core of Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 of Australia.


India-Australia Strategic Partnership

  • India and Australia upgraded their relationship to strategic partnership in 2009.
  • Visit of PM Modi in 2014 saw the culmination of the landmark civil nuclear agreement and joint declaration on security cooperation in the fields of defense and maritime security
  • Further India and Australia have a Track 1.5 strategic dialogue.
  • Note: Track 1.5 diplomacy is mix of Track 1 and Track 2 involving both officials and non-officials (business leaders, intelligentsia etc) in the dialogue process.
  • Bilateral naval exercise AUSINDEX started in 2015.
  • Partners in multi-lateral air-combat exercise Pitch Black hosted by Australia in 2017.
  • Partners in Indo-pacific Quadrilateral grouping involving US and Japan. (only joint secretary level interactions)
  • Impediment
    • However one hitch in the relationship has been India’s resistance in including Australia in the trilateral MALABAR naval exercise including USA and Japan.
    • Though India has been reluctant, strategic partnership with Australia has not been affected.

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