New Delhi, 20 November (HS). Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held bilateral talks with his Australian counterpart Richard Marles in New Delhi on Monday. The talks focused on military cooperation in specific training areas such as artificial intelligence, anti-submarine and anti-drone warfare and cyber domains. India and Australia agreed that a stronger defense partnership between the two countries would be good for the overall security of the Indo-Pacific.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles. Both Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral defense relations. They expressed satisfaction at the growing military cooperation between the two countries, including joint exercises, exchanges and institutional interactions. The Defense Minister congratulated Minister Marles on the successful conduct of the multilateral Exercise ‘Malabar’ in Australia for the first time in August this year.
The two Ministers underlined the importance of further enhancing information exchange and cooperation in maritime domain awareness between the two countries. Both sides are in the advanced stage of discussions to conclude implementing arrangements on hydrography cooperation and air-to-air refueling cooperation. Rajnath Singh stressed that the armies of both the countries should also cooperate in specific training areas such as Artificial Intelligence, anti-submarine and anti-drone warfare and cyber domain. Both Ministers agreed that deeper cooperation in defense industry and research will boost the already strong relations.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh suggested to Australia that shipbuilding, ship repair and maintenance and aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) could be possible areas of cooperation. The two ministers also discussed cooperation for joint research in underwater technologies. Apart from this, cooperation between defense startups of the two countries including jointly solving challenges was discussed. They agreed that a strong India-Australia defense partnership would not only be good for the mutual benefit of both countries, but also for the overall security of the Indo-Pacific.
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