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Indian Navy's P8I aircraft reaches Australia to participate in maritime operations

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Navy's P8I plane has reached Australian city Darwin to participate in coordinated maritime operations such as anti-submarine warfare and surface surveillance, according to an official statement issued on Tuesday.

The aircraft and its crew would be undertaking an operational turnaround at Darwin, the statement noted, adding that the P8I reached Australia on Monday.

During its stay, the team from the Indian Navy's maritime patrol squadron, Albatross (INAS 312) is scheduled to engage with its counterparts from the 92 Wing of the Royal Australian Air Force, it mentioned.

P8 aircraft from both the countries would be conducting coordinated operations in anti-submarine warfare and surface surveillance to enhance maritime domain awareness, it noted.

Australia has P8A aircraft in its fleet. Both -- P8A and P8I -- belong to the same P8 family of aircraft.

In recent times, increased interaction between the two maritime nations, through bilateral and multilateral exercises at sea, has enhanced inter-operability and fostered bridges of friendship, the Indian Navy stated.

The P8 aircraft, with their demonstrated long reach, have operated jointly during Malabar and AUSINDEX series of exercises, and have a common understanding of operating procedures and information sharing, it mentioned.

Both India and Australia share strategic interests, promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific and rules based order in the region, it said.

The relations between India and Australia have strengthened in the last few years.

Both the countries are part of security forum Quad. On April 2, India and Australia signed an economic cooperation and trade agreement under which Canberra would provide duty-free access in its market for over 95 per cent of Indian goods such as textiles, leather, jewellery and sports products.

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