India and Australia will conduct their first ever bilateral war games in September with an eye on China. Chinese authorities said it is unperturbed but claimed that the naval drill is part of a long-planned alliance with the U.S. and Japan to contain China over South China Sea dispute.
According to a report from Reuters, the India-Australia naval drill is primarily aimed atChina. According to the report, India is rattled when China deployed two of its nuclear-powered submarines near its shore in 2014. Hence, the India-Australia naval drill to be held in Bay of Bengal will be primarily focused in improving anti-submarine warfare and coordinated anti-submarine drills. This was officially announced in a statement from the Australian High Commission in Delhi obtained by Reuters.
“India knows that it needs to build up its capacity in submarines and particularly anti-submarine warfare. It’s an area where both (India and Australia) can learn a lot from each other,” David Brewster, a security expert at the Australian National University, told Reuters. He added that China’s deployment of two submarines served as a “wake-up” call for India to realize that it needs to strengthen its bilateral relations with other navies.