Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar on Friday held talks with his Australian counterpart Vice Admiral Mark Hammond with a focus on boosting cooperation towards achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific. The talks between the two Navy chiefs came on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese explored ways to enhance the already close defence cooperation between the two countries.

Vice Admiral Hammond, the Chief of Royal Australian Navy, is on a three-day official visit to India from March 9 to 11.

In a statement, the Indian Navy said avenues to strengthen the growing cooperation between the two navies, cooperative ways to deal with prevalent and emerging maritime security challenges, and initiatives to enhance collaboration and interoperability towards realisation of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific were discussed during talks between Kumar and Hammond.

It said both navies have been cooperating towards exploring new avenues for collaboration in the areas of defence industries, defence innovation and emerging technologies in support of the ‘Make in India’ vision.

The Navy said the visit of Vice Admiral Hammond is an “important event in the continued and regular dialogue between Indian Navy and the Royal Australian Navy, and it reinforces the Navy-to-Navy cooperation in keeping with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries.”