1 September 2023
The crew of Indian Navy submarine INS Vagir were warmly welcomed to Fleet Base West during the first deployment of an Indian submarine to Australia.
HMAS Perth escorted Vagir to berth after it arrived in the vicinity on August 20.
Commander Australian Submarine Force Commodore Tom Phillips said the visit would carry on the success of Exercise Malabar and AusIndex and strengthen the relationship between the Australian and Indian navies.
“We’re incredibly excited to be hosting our first visit by an Indian submarine,” he said.
“For our respective submarine forces this is an historic moment that we will remember and I hope this is the first of many more.
“We’ll work together to improve our procedures, understand each other’s capabilities and talk about our tactics so we have a better mutual understanding as we go forward.”
Submarine certification manager Lieutenant Nicholas Scott-Dobbie said he enjoyed meeting the crew of Vagir during sport and social engagements at HMAS Stirling.
“The Indian Navy personnel were very friendly. They were keen to be in Australia and show off the new submarine,” he said.
“We also discussed some of the similarities in submarine operation and training pathways.”
Lieutenant Scott-Dobbie said there is significant mutual respect between submariners from different countries.
“Having obtained a hard-earned badge distinguishes and identifies the members of the submarine community and is source of pride for the ‘silent service’,” he said.
“There is a mutual understanding of the arduous conditions and ever-present danger associated with operating under the sea.”
Vagir joined an Australian submarine, Perth and maritime patrol aircraft from Australia and India for exercises off the West Australian coast.