To further bilateral and multilateral cooperation and interoperability in the maritime domain, Indian Navy and Australian Navy on Wednesday signed a ‘joint guidance for Navy to Navy relationship’ document.
“The Joint Guidance would serve as a guideline document to showcase the intent of both the Navies to work together bi/multilaterally. The broad scope of the guidance is focussed on developing mutual understanding, cooperate for regional security, collaborate in mutually beneficial activities and to develop interoperability,” the Navy said in a statement.
The signing ceremony for the ‘Joint Guidance for the Australia – India Navy to Navy Relationship’ document was held virtually between Indian Navy Chief Adm Karambir Singh and Australian Navy Chief Vice Admiral Michael J Noonan, the Navy said. “The document would be pivotal in consolidating the shared commitment to promote peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Indo – Pacific region,” the Navy said.
The highlights of document include close cooperation in regional and multilateral fora, including Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and expert working groups subordinate to the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus framework, the statement said.
The document is aligned to the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ agreed by the Prime Ministers and aims to ensure shared approached to regional and global security challenges.
Bilateral defence relations between India and Australia has significantly expanded over the years and the two countries concluded a Mutual Logistics Support Agreement and also conducted a trilateral maritime security workshop. Australian Navy is also now part of the Malabar naval exercise which also includes Japan and U.S.
Australia has also deployed a Liaison Officer at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) as part of efforts to expand cooperation in maritime domain awareness.