India and Australia to conduct first joint naval exercise

14 June 2015 (Last Updated June 14th, 2015 18:30)

India and Australia are reportedly set to conduct their first joint naval exercise later this year as part of efforts to strengthen the military relationship between the countries.

India and Australia are reportedly set to conduct their first joint naval exercise later this year as part of efforts to strengthen the military relationship between the countries.

According to defence sources, a trilateral naval exercise, including Japan could also be expected soon

The three Asia-Pacific countries have agreed to strengthen ties in several sectors, especially in the field of maritime security.

A defence source said: "The three countries have agreed to deepen their defence ties with each other.

"The three countries have agreed to deepen their defence ties with each other."

"Discussion on a possible trilateral naval exercise was held but no decision has been taken."

The exercise between India and Australia will take place side-by-side, with a similar Indian exercise with Japan scheduled later to take place in September..

The first-ever high-level trilateral dialogue between these countries was recently held in India, and was attended by Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Japanese vice-foreign minister Akitaka Saiki, and Australian Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Varghese.

According to sources, the primary agenda of this high-level meeting was maritime security, including freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and trilateral maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

The trio had carried out similar joint talks with the US in 2007. Australia and Japan have also taken part in the Malabar Exercise, which is an annual bilateral naval exercise between the US and India.