India a Top Tier Security Partner for Australia

 India a Top Tier Security Partner for Australia

• The new National Defence Strategy (NDS) 2024 released by Australia mentioned India as a top-tier
security partner.


• In deepening defence partnerships, the strategy identifies key partners across multiple regions in the Indo-Pacific, including Japan and India.
• The 2024 Integrated Investment Programme (IIP) was also released which sets out the specific defence
capabilities Australia will invest in to give effect to the NDS.
• The national defence strategy aims to bolster the Australian Defence Force (ADF)’s deterrence and
warfighting capabilities in the Indo-Pacific, including by building stronger partnerships with key countries.
• The document mentioned that Australia will support India’s role in the region and seek to drive practical
bilateral and multilateral cooperation, defence industry opportunities and information sharing.

India-Australia Defence Relations

• India and Australia upgraded their bilateral relationship from a ‘strategic partnership’ in 2009 to a
‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ in 2020.
• Over the past few years, several institutional
mechanisms have been implemented to promote
bilateral cooperation.
• Bilateral mechanisms include high-level visits,
Annual Meetings of Prime Ministers, Foreign
Ministers’ Framework Dialogue, 2+2 Defence
and Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, Joint Trade &
Commerce Ministerial Commission, Defence
Policy Talks, Australia-India Education Council,
Defence Services Staff Talks, Energy Dialogue,
JWGs on different issues etc.
• The two countries have expanded their strategic partnership, focusing on maritime security, counterterrorism, and regional stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
• QUAD: It is known as the ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue’ (QSD) and is an informal strategic forum
comprising four nations, namely — United States of America (USA), India, Australia and Japan.
• One of the primary objectives of the Quad is to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific
• Initiation of Strategic Dialogue: In 2020, Australia and India elevated their Secretaries 2+2 dialogue
(Defence and Foreign Affairs) to the Ministerial level. Now the ministers meet once every two years to
discuss the progress made under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
• Two Navies had signed the ‘Joint Guidance for the India – Australia Navy to Navy Relationship’ document
in 2021.
• Malabar Exercise: In 2020, Australia participated in the MALABAR naval exercise and thus joined India,
the U S and Japan.
• The exercise united four regional defence partners and democracies, signifying a collective resolve to support
an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
• AUSINDEX: It is a naval exercise between the Royal Australian Navy and the Indian Navy
• The Pitch Black exercise: A significant beginning of defence rendezvous was traversed when, for the first
time, the Indian Air Force joined Exercise Pitch Black in Darwin in 2018.
• Australia’s multifaceted exercise encompasses air forces from several Australian allies and partner countries.
• Mutual Logistic Support Arrangement and Defence Science & Technology Implementing Arrangement:
India and Australia clinched the Mutual Logistic Support Arrangement in 2020.
• The pact enables more scholarly operational cooperation, enabling increasingly complex military engagement
and excellent collective receptiveness to regional benevolent disasters.
• The shared military platforms: Indian and Australian militaries have become increasingly interoperable
through the increasing number of shared media, thereby growing opportunities for shared training.
• These include C-17 strategic transport aircraft, C-130 tactical transport aircraft, P-8 maritime reconnaissance
aircraft, and Chinook heavy-lift helicopters.
• The exchanges of military officials for training: India shapes its relations with its defence forces through
regular personnel and training exchanges, such as short specialist courses and longer-term positions.
• Every year, India and Australia send officers to attend each other’s premiere military educational institutions.


• Defence and strategic cooperation between India and Australia has been transformative in recent years with
a series of exchanges, high-level visits and exercises, both bilateral and multilateral.
• The document emphasises that Australia will continue to support India’s key role in the region by increasing
the depth and complexity of defence cooperation.
• Despite a certain amount of traditional wariness among Australian analysts about the prospects of the
relationship, and vice versa, there has been rapid growth in the bilateral partnership, primarily driven by the
growing threat that both sides perceive from China.