Royal Australian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force ships have gathered in Sydney to conduct the bilateral Exercise Nichi Gou Trident from April 15-26.
Two Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force destroyers JS Umigiri (DD158), JS Asayuki (DD132) and one submarine, JS Hakuryu (SS 503) are taking part in the exercise.
The arrival of the Soryu-class submarine marked the first time a Japanese submarine entered Australia since World War II, Australian ABC reported.
What is more, the submarine entered the Sydney harbor several weeks ahead of the Australian government’s decision on who would be building the country’s fleet of new submarines. Japan, together with France and Germany, is bidding for the contract.
Japan and Australia have been working on improving interoperability levels between the two navies since 2009. This is also the first time the exercise is being conducted off Sydney.
Royal Australian Navy ships that will be taking part in the exercise are HMAS Ballarat, Adelaide and Success along with aviation elements including Navy’s 816 Squadron’s S-70B Seahawks and the Air Force’s AP-3C Orion and Hawk 127 aircraft.
The previous Nichi Gou Trident was last held in Japan in October 2015.