India-Australia maritime surveillance op gets underway

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAFF) P-8A Poseidon aircraft has been deployed to India under a combined India-Australia maritime surveillance initiative, the Australian government said.

P8A aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) arrived in Goa on June 6 to undertake coordinated operations with the P8I of the Indian Navy (IN) from June 7-9. The P8I squadron INAS 316 at INS Hansa, Goa will interact with and host the RAAF P8A aircraft. Both aircraft will undertake coordinated operations involving anti-submarine warfare and surface surveillance.

Previously, IN P8I aircraft had operated from Darwin, Australia in April 2022 and undertaken coordinated ops with RAAF P8A in Northern Australian waters.

"India and Australia will conduct activities in the Indian Ocean Region to build operational maritime domain awareness, practise anti-submarine warfare manoeuvres and bolster military interoperability," the Australian Defence ministry said in a statement.

"This builds upon the successful deployment of an Indian P-8I aircraft to Darwin in April this year, when India and Australia undertook coordinated maritime patrols in Northern Australia for the first time," it added.

Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, Air Vice Marshal Michael Kitcher, said that this maritime surveillance activity paved the way for deeper and more sophisticated operational cooperation between India and Australia.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India-Australia defence cooperation continued to expand during the year.

A 'Joint Guidance for the Australia - India Navy to Navy Relationship' was signed between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy on August 18, 2021.

(ANI)

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