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Navy chief’s visit to Australia strengthens India’s resolve to secure Indo-Pacific

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar with Royal Australian Navy chief Vice Admiral Mark Hammond (Image courtesy: Twitter/@IndianNavy)

India and Australia, which share the commonality of perspectives on several contemporary maritime security issues in the Indo-Pacific, strengthened their partnership further during the Indian Navy chief’s visit Down Under this week.  

Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral R Hari Kumar’s three-day visit took place as an Indian Navy P-8I maritime patrol aircraft was deployed to RAAF Base Darwin for the second time in six months – on this occasion as part of exercise Kakadu 2022.

During his first official visit to Australia upon assuming the office of the CNS, Admiral Kumar held meetings with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) chief Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, Vice Chief of Australian Defence Forces Admiral David Johnston, Secretary of Defence Greg Moriarty, Chief of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Air Marshal Robert Chipman and Deputy Chief of Joint Operations Air Vice Marshal Mike Kitcher.

During these meetings, the leaders expressed their commitment to pursue collaborative activities in several areas of bilateral convergence.

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Admiral R Hari Kumar also visited RAN facilities at HMAS Penguin and Hydrographic School. The CNS was accompanied by Manpreet Vohra, Ambassador of India to Australia, as he interacted with the RAN chief and prominent members of Australian think tanks to understand and develop new maritime cooperation opportunities. The discussions also highlighted the need for raising the level of synergy and focused efforts for overcoming the challenges of the maritime environment.

India and Australia have been working together closely in several bilateral and multilateral fora such as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), and Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS).

Coming on the heels of the successful participation of Indian Naval Ship Satpura and P8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft of the Indian Navy in the recently-concluded multilateral exercise Kakadu hosted by the RAN at Darwin, the visit of the CNS further consolidated the strong and longstanding bilateral relations between the two countries.

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