On August 18, 2021, a ‘Joint Guidance for the Australia-India Navy to Navy Relationship’ document was signed between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy during a virtual ceremony.
- The signing of this document was on the lines of the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP)’ which was agreed between the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during India-Australia Leaders’ Virtual Summit on June 4, 2020.
- The 2020 CSP is an upgrade of the bilateral Strategic Partnership concluded in 2009.
Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS-24th), Indian Navy; and Vice Admiral Michael J Noonan, Chief of Navy, Australian Navy
i.The document aims to ensure a shared approach towards regional and global security that will cater to their commitment to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo – Pacific region.
ii.It represents the intent of both navies to work together bi/ multi-laterally by developing mutual understanding, and collaborate in mutually beneficial activities.
iii.It also highlights close cooperation in regional and multilateral groups, including Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Expert Working Groups subordinate to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus framework.
India-Australia Bilateral Defence Relations:
i.Apart from 2020 SCP, there is Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) which allows militaries of the two countries to use each other’s bases for repair and replenishment of supplies, besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation.
ii.Australian and Indian Navies, along with the navies of United States (US) and Japan are members of the four-nation Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, which has irked China. They will also participate in the Malabar Naval Exercise later this year.
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