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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

India-Australia Drills Targeting Submarines Rattle China

P-3C OrionIndia and Australia will focus on anti-submarine warfare in their first ever joint naval exercises, signaling a growing strategic relationship to counter China’s increased activity in the Indian Ocean.

The war games next month off India’s Visakhapatnam port in the Bay of Bengal will include exercises to protect a tanker from a hostile attack submarine. The area is near waters where China deployed a nuclear-powered submarine for the first time last year, as well as the Sri Lankan port where another unit surfaced twice. That caused a diplomatic uproar.

There’s the “potential for increased security tensions in the Indian Ocean,” said Captain Sheldon Williams, defense adviser at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi. “We sit right in the confluence of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. We have a significant responsibility for its security. That’s how we’re looking at it now.”

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