Submarine INS Vagir reaches Australian shores to bolster Indo-Pacific maritime security

INS Vagir will conduct maritime exercises with the Royal Australian Navy, strengthening interoperability between the two nations.

Indian Navy’s Kalvari-class submarine, INS Vagir, arrived at HMAS Stirling at 1200 Perth time today (20 August) marking the first time an Indian submarine has come to Australia.

This occasion will be marked by the presence of High Commissioner of India to Australia, Mr Manpreet Vohra, Commander Submarine Force, Commander Thomas Phillips and Commanding Officer of INS Vagir tomorrow.

INS Vagir which was commissioned into the Indian Navy in January this year will conduct maritime exercises with the Royal Australian Navy, strengthening interoperability between the two nations.

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It is the fifth Kalvari class submarine deployed by the Indian navy.

Kalvari class submarine (By Indian Navy, CC BY 2.5 in, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97560500))

Earlier in the month naval exercise Malabar came to Australia for the first time (11-21 August). Exercise Malabar is an annual maritime exercise that enhances planning, training, and employment of advanced warfare tactics between – Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Indian Navy (IN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and U.S. Navy. It is being conducted on the east coast of Australia. The four nations are also members of the QUAD.

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond said that it was historic that Australia was being afforded the honour of hosting exercise Malabar for the first time.

“The Royal Australian Navy is honoured the Indian Navy has provided us the opportunity to host Exercise Malabar; reinforcing the trust and strength of our Navy to Navy relationship.”

“This esteemed exercise provides rich opportunities for our people to work and train together, to be prepared as high-functioning teams ready to face the complex challenges of the maritime domain.”

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“Exercise Malabar is an investment in Australia’s Navy to Navy relationships, as well as the relationship between the four Navies involved. In this way we complement diplomatic efforts to deepen our regional ties and contribute to a region based on trust and respect,” added Vice Admiral Hammond

Exercise Malabar is an important Indo-Pacific military exercise that seeks to deepen interoperability between participating regional partners.

Royal Australian Navy Ships HMAS Brisbane and HMAS Choules are participating in the exercise, with Navy MH60R helicopters and Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II, Hawk 127 and P-8A Poseidon aircraft. They will join partner nations in high-end training including air defence and anti-submarine exercises, aviation, communications and replenishment at sea between ships.

The Indian Navy is being represented by its multi-role stealth frigate, INS Sahyadri and indigenous destroyer INS Kolkata. A destroyer from the United States and a major surface vessel from Japan are also participating in the naval exercise.

Emphasising on the depth of the relationship between the participating navies, Vice Admiral Hammond also told Pallavi Jain how Malabar 2023 reached Australia even though it was initially going to be held in India.

Sailor’s wheel at Royal Australian Heritage Museum Centre, Sydney (Image: The Australia Today)
Indian Triclour flying high on INS Kolkata docked in Sydney (Image: The Australia Today)

This year marks the 27th iteration of the Malabar series and is being held in Sydney and across Australia’s east.

Watch Video: The Australia Today reporting from Sydney Naval base

Speaking at a press conference in Sydney on the eve of the Malabar naval exercise, Commander of US Navy’s seventh fleet, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, said that the US Navy will contest any excessive claims in the South China Sea.

Watch Video: Commander of US Navy’s seventh fleet Vice Admiral Karl Thomas in Sydney

Rear Admiral Christopher Smith also said, at this presser, that a large portion of the earth is covered by water and a large portion of it is not owned by any individual sovereign country.

Watch Video: Rear Admiral Christopher Smith, Commander Australian Fleet

Following exercise Malabar, bilateral joint naval exercises between the Australian and Indian Navy AUSINDEX 23 will begin from August 22.

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