The Indian Navy is scheduled to undertake a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in the East Indian Ocean Region from 23-24 September 2020. The exercise would involve participation of HMAS Hobart from the Australian side and Indian Naval Ships Sahyadri and Karmuk. In addition, an Indian MPA and helicopters from both sides would be participating in the exercise.
The exercise, aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices from each other, would involve advanced surface and anti-air exercises including weapon firings, seamanship exercises, naval manoeuvres and Cross Deck Flying Operations. PASSEXs are regularly conducted by Indian Navy with units of friendly foreign navies, whilst visiting each other’s ports or during a rendezvous at sea. This exercise being conducted in the East Indian Ocean Region, reflects the growing strength of Indo-Australian bilateral relations as comprehensive strategic partners, particularly in defence cooperation in the maritime domain.
The exercise, which is in keeping with the strong bond shared by the two navies, would be another step towards strengthening IndoAustralia defence relations and the continued efforts of both Governments to work closely to enhance safety and security of the global commons in accordance with international regulations. The two navies have built a robust relationship through regular exercises such as AUSINDEX conducted biennially. In the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the exercise would be conducted strictly as a ‘noncontact activity’ and would not involve any physical contact between the participating personnel of the two navies.