New Delhi, November 20 (HS): Defence 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 defence partnership between the two countries would be good for the overall security of the Indo-Pacific.
Singh held a bilateral meeting with the Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles. Both ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral defence relations. They expressed satisfaction at the growing military cooperation between the two countries, including joint exercises, exchanges, and institutional interactions. The Defence Minister congratulated Minister Marles on the successful conduct of 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 refuelling cooperation.
Rajnath Singh stressed that the armies of both countries should also cooperate in specific training areas such as artificial intelligence, anti-submarine and anti-drone warfare, and the cyber domain. Both ministers agreed that deeper cooperation in the defence industry and research will boost the already strong relations.
Defence 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 the defence startups of the two countries, including jointly solving challenges, was discussed. They agreed that a strong India-Australia defence partnership would not only be good for the mutual benefit of both countries but also for the overall security of the Indo-Pacific.
Hindusthan Samachar/Indrani Sarkar/Manoj