The Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy have commenced a week-long maritime warfare exercise called Mastex in the waters north of Darwin.

The Mastex exercise is intended to promote interoperability between the two navies and will consist of various security and warfare exercises.

Scheduled exercises during Mastex include; air firings against towed targets, officer of the watch manoeuvres, boarding exercises and air warfare serials.

Forces taking part in the exercise are the Adelaide Class Frigate HMAS Melbourne with an embarked Seahawk helicopter and Armidale Class patrol boat HMAS Maryborough. Alongside them will be the Royal Malaysian Navy ship KD Jebat with a Super Lynx helicopter.

Commander of the Australian patrol boat group, Captain Vaughan Rixon, said at the opening ceremony that “Mastex provides a vital opportunity for the Navies of Australia and Malaysia to improve on combined maritime warfare procedures and tactics.”

The operation will be supported by the Australian Air force using Hawk aircraft from 79 squadron and one P-3 Orion from 92 Wing.

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PEL–AIR Aviation Australia will also provide support, towing air targets to provide realistic maritime strike and air combat support.

By Daniel Garrun