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Australia, India navies to step up engagement, training exchanges

The Admiral is also scheduled to call on the Chief of the Defence Staff, IAF chief and defense secretary.

Screenshot 2024 04 04 101955NEW DELHI: In a series of top military-level interactions with Australia, Chief of Royal Australian Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond met Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, on Wednesday. Admiral Hammond is on a five-day visit.

The Indian Navy said discussions focused on avenues to strengthen bilateral maritime cooperation, including increased operational engagements, training exchanges and information sharing.

Admiral Hammond laid a ceremonial wreath at the National War Memorial and was thereafter welcomed with the customary guard of honour presented by the Indian Navy at South Block. The Admiral is also scheduled to call on the Chief of the Defence Staff, IAF chief and defense secretary.

He will also visit the Southern Naval Command in Kochi and Western Naval Command in Mumbai where he will interact with commanders-in-chiefs.

Australia and India upgraded their bilateral relationship from ‘strategic partnership’ in 2009 to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in 2020. Over the years, an array of institutional mechanisms has been put in place to promote bilateral cooperation.

“India and Australia share the commonality of perspective on several contemporary maritime security issues in the Indo-Pacific and have been working together closely in several bilateral and multilateral forums, the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium IONS, Western Pacific Naval Symposium, ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus and Quad, the Indian Navy said.

Following the participation of the Royal Australian Ship HMNAS Warramunga, an Anzac Class Frigate, during the multinational exercise Milan 24 and recently conducted maritime exercises, the visit further consolidates the strong relations between both navies.

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