As a follow-up to the meeting of President Joko Widodo with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to India in Dec 2016, the emphasis given by both leaders in the Joint Statement for enhancing the level of cooperation in Defence and Security. This has given significant impetus towards increasing the depth and scope of cooperation between the two countries. Since the meeting, considerable progress has been made with the conduct of the inaugural India Indonesian Security Dialogue at New Delhi in Jan 2018, followed by the Biennial Defence Ministers Dialogue on 19 Jan 2018 (held after a gap of nearly 5 years); the commencement of Air Force to Air Force Staff Talks; increasing the frequency of Navy to Navy Staff Talks; participation of Special Forces in the annual bilateral Army Exercise ‘Garuda Shakti; and the conduct of specialised training for Indonesian Navy and Indonesian Air Force. During the meeting, Indian side also showcased and offered high end weapon systems from the Indian Defence Industry.
The visit of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in May 2018 gave further impetus to the cooperation between the two countries in the area of Defence and Security. During the veranda talks, President Joko Widodo expressed willingness to support India’s proposal to partner in the Malacca Straits Patrol. Thereafter during the 6th JDCC held in Aug 2018, both sides agreed to commence Naval and Air Force bilateral exercises. The first bilateral naval exercise between India and Indonesia ‘Samudra Shakti’ was held in November 2018 at Surabaya, Indonesia, the second edition at Visapkhapatnma and in the Bay of Bengal in Nov 2019 and the third edition in Sep 2021 at Jakarta, Indonesia and the Sunda Straits.
In a further emphasis on engagement in the maritime domain, an MoU on Maritime Safety & Security between the Indian Coast Guard & the Indonesian Bakamla was signed in July 2020. Presently discussions are ongoing for arriving at exchange of White Shipping Information for comprehensive domain awareness and augmenting linkages between the Indian Navy’s IFC-IOR with the Maritime Information Centre (Pusinfomar) under the Indonesian Armed Forces HQ as also the Indonesian Maritime Information Centre (IMIC) under Bakamla. The Indonesian Navy has also been invited to position an International Liaison Officer (ILO) at the IFC-IOR.