Australia, Japan, India and the US for four-way security initiative?
An emerging security quartet in the Indo-Pacific?
On 11 September the Indian Navy (IN) embarked on a week-long maritime engagement with the Royal Australian Navy in the Bay of Bengal. AUSINDEX-15 is being seen as a milestone of sorts, as it is the first time India and Australia have met for a bilateral naval exercise in the Indian Ocean. However, the composition of the participating contingents has led to speculation about the real intention behind the exercise.
As RAN ships arrived in Visakhapatnam to participate in the exercises, media reports surmised that the presence of a Collins class submarine, a P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft and an Indian P-8I maritime patrol aircraft indicated an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) focus, revealing a shared anxiety over Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean. What is more, commentators suggested that the engagement was a precursor to closer naval interaction between India, Australia, Japan and the US.
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