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Australian Navy delegation visits WNC; both sides discuss interoperability, maritime challenges

MUMBAI (PTI): A Royal Australian Navy delegation visited the Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command (WNC) and discussed matters of mutual interest and interoperability, which will further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two navies, an official release said.

The five-member delegation was briefed on the activities of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet in the backdrop of the security situation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, it said.

During its visit on Friday, the delegation also took a tour of an indigenously built destroyer and a submarine at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.

The delegation was briefed on the capabilities of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited when it visited the facility and was informed about its ongoing projects for the Indian Navy.

“A five-member delegation of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), led by Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, AO, Chief of RAN, visited Headquarters, Western Naval Command, Mumbai on April 5.

“The delegation interacted with Vice Admiral Sanjay J Singh, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command and held discussions on matters of mutual interest and interoperability between the two Navies,” the Navy said.

The delegation was given an overview of the roles and charter of the WNC and current challenges in the maritime domain. India and Australia are parties to the Maritime Dialogue and various Navy-to-Navy interactions, which are conducted periodically.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation has been in force since 2014, and both countries raised their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership in June 2020. Subsequently, naval cooperation between the two maritime nations has grown substantially over the years, the Navy said.

“The current visit by the RAN delegation would further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two navies. Both the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries maintain similar views on stability, peace and growth which is a prime factor in the blossoming cultural and diplomatic exchanges," the Navy said.

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