New Delhi: Australian Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond is on a three-day official visit to India from March 9 to 11.

During the visit, Vice Admiral Hammond interacted with Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, at New Delhi on Friday. He was welcomed with an impressive Guard of Honour on the South Block Lawns.

During the interaction, avenues to strengthen the growing cooperation between the two nations and navies, cooperative ways to deal with prevalent/ emerging maritime security challenges, and initiatives to enhance collaboration and interoperability towards the realisation of a Free, Open and Inclusive Indo-Pacific/ IOR, were discussed.

The Indian Navy closely cooperates with the Royal Australian Navy on numerous issues, which include operational interactions such as AUSINDEX, KAKADU and P8 operations, training exchanges, and exchange of White Shipping Information and Subject Matter Experts in various fields, all of which are coordinated through the medium of Staff Talks meetings conducted annually.

In addition, warships from both Navies regularly make port calls at each other's ports and interact in multilateral exercises such as MALABAR, RIMPAC, Laperouse, etc. Both Navies have also been cooperating towards exploring new avenues for collaboration in Defence industries, Defence innovation and emerging Defence technologies in support of the 'Make in India' vision.

Vice Admiral Hammond's visit is an essential event in the continued and regular dialogue between Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy. It reinforces the Navy-to-Navy cooperation in keeping with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries.