By: Express News Service | New Delhi | September 15, 2020 10:49:27 am
Army Chief General M M Naravane. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)
Indian Army Chief General M M Naravane on Monday held a telephonic conversation with his Japanese counterpart to take forward defence cooperation between the two countries for a “free and open Indo-Pacific”.
Meanwhile, an Indian Navy ship refuelled with a US Navy fleet tanker, marking the increasing interoperability between the two forces.
Japan’s Ground Self-Defence Force tweeted, “General Yuasa, the Chief of Staff, #JGSDF held a discussion with General MM Naravane, the Chief of the Army Staff, #IndianArmy (IA) over the phone on September 14th. Both generals agreed to advance JGSDF-IA defense cooperation/exchanges to realize a ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’.”
Sources in the Navy said that INS Talwar, which is on a mission-based deployment in the Northern Arabian Sea, undertook refuelling with US Navy Fleet Tanker USNS Yukon under LEMOA. Sources said that this evolution, apart from highlighting interoperability between Indian and American navies, enables presence for enhancing maritime security.
In July India had conducted a Passage Exercise, which includes some basic maritime drills with one of the Carrier Strike Groups of the US Navy, as the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier passed through the region coming from South China Sea. India had conducted a similar exercise with Japan’s navy earlier.
India, the US and Japan will together participate in Malabar Exercise, the naval trilateral exercise, later this year. Australia too is likely to be invited for Malabar.
The four countries are part of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, also known as the Quad, which is an informal strategic forum.
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