The Royal Australian Navy’s biennial international engagement activity Kakadu 2022, which involves 16 warships, a submarine, more than 30 aircraft and 3000 participants from more than 20 countries, has witnessed activities ranging from constabulary operations to high-end maritime warfare.
Destroyers, frigates, corvettes and littoral (near-shore) combat ships of varying designs and capabilities sailed in two task groups to undertake training activities to teach task groups to work together.
In the opening days of the sea phase, ships undertook gun firing and defend themselves against fast-jet fighters simulating guided missiles from P-8 maritime patrol aircraft or from a submarine.
The latter half of the nine-day sea phase pitches the two task groups against each other in a tactical warfare scenario, testing the full capabilities of each ship and crew.
Meanwhile, a third task group comprising smaller patrol boats has undergone boarding party training to prepare them for fisheries enforcement, border protection and other maritime law enforcement duties.
“During Kakadu, the frigates and destroyers will be conducting maritime warfare training, to defend themselves from threats in the air and from other ships and submarines,” Commodore Paul O’Grady said.
“For the patrol boats, they’ll be conducting exercises that rehearse them for activities for border force and operations such as illegal fisheries enforcement and border protection. All the units will practise humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery and rendering assistance to ships that are distressed or disabled at sea.”
Commodore O’Grady also emphasized that: “We get to get together with our regional partners and other visiting partners so that we can operate together at sea and in the air, and do so effectively across a whole spectrum of activities and operations.
Indian Navy’s INS Satpura sailed from Darwin, Australia, on 15 September 2022 to participate in sea phase of the drill. The ship participated in various exercises such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-ship warfare, close-quarter maneuvers with friendly foreign warships and replenishment at sea.
The two-week-long exercise involved ships from 14 navies including the US, Japan, Australia, the UK, France, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and smaller SW Pacific nations.
In addition, aircraft from India, New Zealand, Germany, Singapore and Australia are also participating in the exercise.
Exercise Kakadu 22, which started on 12 September, will conclude on 24 September.