Royal Australian Navy and Royal Thai Navy exercise joint war-fighting skills

The Royal Australian Navy, supported by the Royal Australian Air Force, has conducted a highly successful maritime exercise with the Royal Thai Navy; demonstrating yet again how well the two nations can operate effectively together.

The Australian Anzac Class Frigate HMAS Parramatta travelled to Thailand in March to conduct Exercise AUSTHAI 2013 with the Royal Thai Navy’s HTM Ships Rattanakosin and Phutthayotfa Chulalok.

HTMS Rattanakosin, HMAS Parramatta and HTMS Phutthayotfa Chulalok being overflown by a Thai S70B in the Gulf of Thailand during the photex serial of AUSTHAI 2013.

The three ships were joined by two maritime patrol aircraft: an AP3-C Orion from the Royal Australian Air Force, and a Royal Thai Navy Dornier‑228. The primary aim of the exercise, held in the Gulf of Thailand, was to practice maritime warfare skills and to strengthen naval interoperability, including through the application of maritime patrol aircraft.

During the exercise, Parramatta and her Thai counterparts practiced gunnery exercises collectively known as ‘maritime interdiction’; and the Australian crew also demonstrated the Royal Australian Navy’s fire fighting and damage control techniques.

HTMS Rattanakosin being overflown by a Thai JAS 39D Griffen in the Gulf of Thailand during
an Air Defence Exercise of AUSTHAI 2013. (photo : Aus DoD)

The exercise had a heavy focus on the conduct of maritime boarding operations, allowing participants to hone boarding skills and discuss mutual lessons learned from deployments to the Middle East.

Parramatta’s Commanding Officer, Commander Simon Cannell, said the success of the exercise should give both nations great confidence in their maritime security capabilities.

“Exercises like this are extremely important because it’s essential to our mission of maintaining maritime security in this region that we have the ability to work together with all of our South East Asian neighbours.”

“Considering the ever-present threat of piracy, boarding skills are particularly important, and I was impressed by how effectively our two nations worked together when we practiced these all-important skills,” said Commander Cannell.

The exercise also allowed personnel from both navies to conduct at-sea exchanges between vessels. AUSTHAI 13 was the seventh iteration of the biennial exercise.

Imagery from Exercise AUSTHAI 2013 is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at


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