Context: Recently, Indian military aircraft visited Australia’s Cocos (Keeling) Islands to enhance strategic reach and interoperability with Australia. About Cocos Islands:
- Cocos Islands, is an external territory of Australia located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 3,000 km north-west of Perth in western Australia.
- It comprises two coral atolls made up of 27 smaller islands.
- Logistics Support: Cocos can be an important base for refueling and Operational Turnaround for the Indian military.
- Maritime Domain Awareness: India’s presence in the Cocos Islands allows it to improve its maritime domain awareness.
- Geopolitical Location: They are located close to Indonesia and strategic maritime choke points.
- Enhancing India-Australia Cooperation: Cocos Islands had been a point of cooperation between the space agencies of the two countries for India’s Gaganyaan human space flight mission.