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India to hold naval exercise with US, Japan in November; Australia to join

India will likely hold a major naval exercise in November with the US and Japan. Australia is also expected to be a part of the naval exercise. The development is big in the face of the on-going faceoff with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), where there has been mobilisation from the Chinese side from the last several months in Eastern Ladakh. India is already expanding deployment of its warships in the Indian Ocean region in the wake of its tense border standoff.

The naval exercise will likely put China in check to ensure there is no change in the status quo in Eastern Ladakh. In a bid to counter China’s People’s Liberation Army’s aggressive moves Eastern Ladakh, the Indian armed forces have deployed indigenously designed and developed long-range sub-sonic cruise missile 'Nirbhay', supersonic cruise missile system ‘Brahmos’ and short-range Surface to Air Missile system ‘Akash’, reports said.

On Monday, Rajnath Singh-headed Defence Acquisition Council also cleared some major defence procurements. Amid major clearances include - Smart Anti Airfield Weapon being procured at an approximate cost of Rs 970 crore has been cleared for the Navy and Air Force.

On September 23, the Indian and Australian navies came together for a two-day mega exercise in the Indian Ocean Region that featured a range of complex naval manoeuvres, anti-aircraft drills and helicopter operations. It was the first major military exercise by India and Australia after they elevated their ties to a 'comprehensive strategic partnership' and signed a landmark deal for reciprocal access to military bases for logistics support in June.

"The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) allows militaries of the two countries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies besides facilitating scaling up of overall defence cooperation. India has signed similar agreements with the US, France, Singapore and Japan," news agency PTI reported.

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