Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and its Australian counterpart have launched a bilateral exercise at the Sepanggar naval base in Sabah state.

The Malaysia-Australia Exercise or Mastex, which started on October 29, is carried out biennially to strengthen military relations between Malaysia and Australia.

The nine-day exercise involved a total of 500 sailors from both navies, two RMN ships namely KD Kelantan and KD Lekiu, and two Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels, HMAS Stuart and HMAS Sirius.

Australia has been strengthening naval cooperation with Southeast Asian countries by holding joint exercises and sending naval fleets to visit and join exchanges with navies of the regional nations.

In May 2019, the fleet “The First Lady” of Australia visited and had an exchange programme with the Royal Malaysian Navy at Klang port./.