THE Australian Border Force and the Indian Coast Guard are seeking to forge stronger ties via the visit to Darwin this week of the offshore patrol vessel ICG Ship Shaurya.

At 105 metres in length and with a crew of more than 110 officers and sailors, the ICGS Shaurya is one of the latest generation offshore patrol vessels built by India to bolster its fleet following the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The Shaurya’s is being hailed as “a new level of collaboration between the two maritime law enforcement agencies”.

HMAS Bathurst is to rendezvous with ICGS Shaurya and enter Darwin Harbour together tomorrow and will be officially welcomed by Maritime Border Command (MBC).

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“Australia and India have some significant shared interests as Indian Ocean neighbours,” Commander MBC, Rear Admiral Lee Goddard said.

“ICGS Shaurya’s visit is an important event to strengthen cooperation and support our common goal to ensure safety and security across our maritime domain,” RADM Goddard said.

“We look forward to the successful exchange of expertise between officers on this occasion as well as future collaboration to reinforce our commitment to combating shared civil maritime security threats.”

This is said to be a significant step up in the relationship between the ABF and ICG.

The focus of the ICGS Shaurya visit is for tactical level engagement, testing interagency cooperation and integration through a number of table top exercises.

The ICGS Shaurya will be open for visitors on Thursday (28 November) from 10:00 am at Fort Hill Wharf. She is scheduled to depart Darwin on Friday.

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