The interoperability of Australian and Indian defence air platforms was on show during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 with both countries anti-submarine warfare (ASW) P-8 aircraft conducting serials together.
CAPTION: Members of the Royal Australian Air Force and Indian Navy P-8 flight teams chat during a combined crew training discussion at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam during Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. Story and photo by Leading Seaman Kylie Jagiello.
Royal Australian Air Force detachment commander, Squadron Leader Johnathan Logan, said it showed close tactical coordination between the two nations.
“Operating in vicinity of an aircraft carrier creates greater challenges and generates added complexity in airspace de-confliction, tasking delegation and a complicated communications environment,” Squadron Leader Logan said.
“The crews conducted mission planning discussions to determine how to specifically pass tactical information in the air, ensuring exercise challenges and differences between operating procedures were overcome.
“A highlight was seeing the relationships between our two nations continuing to grow and the demonstration of regional interoperability.”
Previous experience operating near aircraft carriers ensured a seamless preparation for the P-8A crew.
Deputy detachment commander of the Indian detachment, Indian Navy Commander Kashyap Srinivasan, said their P-8I were fully integrated to provide the Indian Navy’s Carrier Task Force with necessary surveillance and ASW protection.
“RIMPAC was a good opportunity for my crew to exercise in a restricted airspace and amalgamate our processes, furthering interoperability between the two navies,” Commander Srinivasan said.
“With only minor differences between our platforms, the commonality in procedures and operating philosophy, and prior discussions and coordination ensured smooth turnover during ASW missions.”
During the sea phase of RIMPAC, the Australian detachment conducted their first drop of a new exercise torpedo (EXTORP) variant.
“We had conducted training back home for this particular mission, as well as a dedicated mission planning session during the harbour phase of RIMPAC,” Squadron Leader Logan said.
“The EXTORP performed as expected and allowed our two crews to become qualified and experienced in real world torpedo delivery.”