INS Vagir is on an extended-range deployment since June 2023
In yet another sign of growing India-Australia defence ties, INS Vagir will become the first Indian Navy submarine to arrive in Australia. It is scheduled to reach Fremantle, on Australia's west coast, on Sunday (August 20, 2023) even as the Malabar Exercise involving the four Quad navies continues on the country's east coast.

The submarine is the Indian Navy’s fifth Kalvari class submarine and was commissioned into the Indian Navy in January 2023. Based in Mumbai, INS Vagir is on an extended-range deployment since June 2023.

"During her stay in Australia, INS Vagir will participate in various exercises with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) units on the West Coast of Australia. Concurrently, on the East coast of Australia, Indian Naval ships and aircraft are involved in Exercise Malabar 23 from 11-21 Aug 23 and AUSINDEX 23 from 22-24 Aug 23," the Ministry of Defence said on Saturday (August 19, 2023).

According to the Ministry of Defence, the ongoing deployment is a testament to the reach and sustenance of Indian Navy submarines. The extended range deployment showcases the capability and professional acumen of the Indian Navy to undertake sustained operations at extended ranges from the base port for prolonged durations, the Ministry added.

Earlier, during the ongoing deployment, INS Vagir had visited Colombo as part of the International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2023.

Exercise Malabar 2023 is being held off the coast of Sydney from August 11-21, 2023, marking the first time that it is being hosted by Australia. The Indian Navy's indigenous frontline warships INS Sahyadri and INS Kolkata are participating in Exercise Malabar 2023 along with ships and aircraft from the US Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Japan hosted the last edition of Exercise Malabar which was held in November 2022.

This year marks the 27th edition of the Malabar series of maritime exercises which commenced in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and the US Navy. The Japan Maritime Self Defence Force joined the exercise in 2015. The 2020 edition witnessed the maiden participation of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

It is worth noting that defence has emerged as a key pillar of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. While the two navies participate in AUSINDEX, the Indian Army and the Australian Army take part in the the joint military drill AUSTRA HIND.

In 2018, the Indian Air Force participated in Exercise PITCH BLACK in Darwin.