Australia keen India joins Exercise Talisman Sabre

Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton. File   | Photo Credit: AP

Australia is keen that India join its biggest war games ‘Exercise Talisman Sabre’ in 2023 and a formal invite could be extended during Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton’s visit to India, which is likely in the next couple of months, according to official sources.

Meanwhile, the Quad group of countries comprising India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. are set to hold the annual Malabar naval exercise 2021 off the coast of Guam end August. Australia was included in the Malabar 2020.

Mr. Dutton said few days back that he would like to see India participate in the biennial Exercise Talisman Sabre. There is no formal invitation for Talisman Sabre at this stage, but Mr. Dutton is very keen that India join the exercise and may possibly be visiting Delhi in next month or two, an official source said.

According to the Australian Defence Ministry, Talisman Sabre 2021, which just concluded, was the largest bilateral combined training activity between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the U.S. military and saw the participation of approximately 17,000 military personnel from seven nations on land, air and sea. The other countries include Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and U.K.

Indian Navy deployment

Four frontline warships from the Navy’s Eastern Fleet are scheduled to depart on an overseas deployment of over two months to South East Asia, the South China Sea and Western Pacific during which they will conduct a series of exercises and interactions.

“The deployment of the Indian Navy ships seeks to underscore the operational reach, peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen existing bonds between India and countries of the Indo-Pacific,” a Navy statement said. The task group comprises of guided missile destroyer Ranvijay, guided missile frigate Shivalik, anti-submarine corvette Kadmatt and guided missile corvette Kora.

During the deployment in the Indo-Pacific, the ships are scheduled to participate in bilateral exercises with the Navies of Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore (SIMBEX), Indonesia (Samudra Shakti) and Australia (AUS-INDEX). “Further, they would also participate in multilateral exercise MALABAR-21 alongside the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force, Royal Australian Navy and the United States Navy in Western Pacific,” the Navy said.

The modalities for Malabar, which is being hosted by the U.S. this time, are currently being finalised. The U.S. is planning first phase in Western Pacific and India planning the second phase, according to a diplomatic source.

In recent years, India has significantly scaled up its military cooperation with the Quad countries on a bilateral level as well as multilateral formats deepening interoperability and high technology cooperation.

These maritime initiatives enhance synergy and coordination between the Indian Navy and friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and commitment towards Freedom of Navigation at sea, the Navy added.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 4:35:30 PM |

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