The Australian High Commissioner to India, Philip Green, emphasises the potential for further strengthening the already robust defence relationship between India and Australia. In an exclusive interview with our other digital platform, StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale, Green highlighted the desire to enhance collaboration beyond interoperability. He envisions a future where the two nations can achieve interchangeability, aiming for deeper integration of their defence platforms. At the same time, Green advocates for a heightened level of intimacy by proposing increased involvement of Australian military servicemen with Indian platforms and vice versa, suggesting a more integrated approach between the defencepersonnel of both countries.
“The defence and security relationships are sensitive and at the core of both nations. We will engage in more complex military exercises such as Malabar and Milan. Our forces will participate in the upcoming naval exercise, Milan 2024, later this month. Seeking interoperability across shared platforms, like the P8 aircraft crucial for maritime surveillance, is something we are looking for. Beyond interoperability, we hope to achieve interchangeability. We envision increased involvement of Australian servicemen working with Indian platforms while exploring the possibility of having Indian defence force personnel in our headquarters to share responsibilities and expertise. Our commitment will intensify— it could be more frequent and deeper, aiming to see a new level of intimacy characterisedby interchangeability. This is our ambition,” stated the High Commissioner.
At the Defence Conclave held in October organised by BharatShakti, Chief of Joint Operations, Australia, Lt Gen. Greg Bilton said amid Chinese belligerence and expansionism in its immediate maritime neighbourhoodand beyond, the Indo-Pacific remains a region of global attention.
“The strategic importance of the region is not lost on India and Australia, which have a working defence relationship. We cannot deter major powers on our own, so we need trusted and transparent relationships with partners and allies,” Gen Bilton said.
He said there was an “opportunity now (for India and Australia) to coordinate our activities, leverage the resources of both to achieve better levels of situational awareness”.
(Note: To watch full interview, click the web link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBhjm4bfVQk)