India-Australia hold Naval Exercise
On September 23, 2020, India and Australia held a mega Naval Exercise, PASSEX in the Indian Ocean Region. It involved complex naval maneuvers, helicopter operations and aircraft drills.
The Naval Exercise is to be conducted for two days. It is being conducted to improve understanding, imbibing best practices and enhance inter-operability between the countries. India conducts similar Naval exercises with Japan. Russia and the US. This is the fourth major Naval Drill conducted by Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean Region since June 2020. Such frequent drills come amidst tensed borders along Line of Actual Control.
The exercise will include weapon firings, seamanship exercises and cross deck flying operations.
Both India and Australian Governments are working closely to strengthen their defence relations. India is keen in joining Australia in Malabar Exercises. Malabar Exercise is a naval exercise that is held among India, Japan and US. With the Chinese increasing their influence in the Indian Ocean Region and creating tensed borders, India is looking ways strengthen QUAD grouping. QUAD comprises of India, Japan, Australia and the US. All these four member countries are restraining Chinese actions lately. Thus, conducting naval exercise with Australia at this point of time is highly important for India. It also sends strong signals to the Chinese.
In July 2020, India held a military exercise with the US Naval carrier, USS Nimitz near the coast of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. USS Nimitz is the largest warship in the world.
In September 2020, India and Russia held a naval exercise in Bay of Bengal
Also, India carried out a naval exercise with Japan in June 2020. Thus, this naval exercise with Australia is the fourth since June 2020.
India has increased its deployment in the Indian Ocean lately. By deploying a plethora of warships and submarine, India is sending strong messages to the Chinese.