The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral RK Dhowan, is on an official tour to Australia commencing 02 Oct 15. The visit (from 02nd to 07th October 2015) aims to consolidate existing Maritime Cooperation initiatives as well as explore new avenues.
The Admiral’s visit to Australia has been programmed to coincide with the prestigious annual ‘Sea Power Conference’ organised by the Australia Navy. The forum provides opportunities to engage with heads of over 40 navies.
India-Australia have several commonalities, which serve as foundation for closer cooperation and multifaceted interactions. Both countries are vibrant, secular and multicultural democracies.
The defence cooperation between India and Australia is robust and is primarily focused towards Maritime Cooperation. India and Australia signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement in 2006 as well as a Framework for Defence Cooperation in Nov 14, which envisages regular ship visits as well as high level exchanges.
Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy are partners in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS); a Maritime Cooperation construct conceptualised and pioneered by Indian Navy in 2008. Australian Navy has stood shoulder to shoulder with Indian Navy in taking this 21st century maritime construct forward. The conduct of the first Bilateral Maritime Exercise ‘AUSINDEX’, off India’s East coast in Sep 15 between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy was a landmark event between the two navies.
India-Australia share similar maritime challenges such as long coastline, extensive EEZ, coastal security, large coastal shipping and fishing fleet, where in both Navies have opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences. In addition, common grounds exists for cooperation in ship-building, especially under India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
During the visit, Admiral RK Dhowan is scheduled to hold discussions with the Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Chief of Defence Staff, Defence Secretary and other Senior Naval Officers.