With an eye on boosting cooperation in the maritime domain with India, the UK government has posted their International Liaison Officer (ILO) at the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) in Gurugram.
Lt. Cdr. Stephen Smith joins the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) as the first-ever Liaison Officer. He will be inducted in an official ceremony as the UK’s first ILO at the Centre.
This is in line with the recently launched 2030 Roadmap in May.
“The appointment represents a significant step-up in our shared maritime domain awareness effort, and boldly underlines UK and Indian desires to work together in the Indian Ocean Region and wider Indo-Pacific,” said an official statement.
“IFC-IOR is an excellent platform to enable closer engagement and ensure greater sharing of information on vessels of interest,” added the statement.
“The UK is committed to becoming the European country with the broadest, most integrated presence in the Indo-Pacific in support of trade, shared security and values,” further added the statement.
A high level of interoperability between the armed forces of both countries is the key area of cooperation. This will be further boosted when the UK’s Carrier Strike Group, led by one of their largest aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in India.
About IFC- IOR:
The IFC-IOR was established with the vision of strengthening maritime security in the region and beyond, by building a common coherent maritime situation picture and acting as a maritime information hub for the region.
The IFC has been established at the Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram, which is the single point centre linking all the coastal radar chains to generate a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km coastline.
Through this Centre, information on “white shipping”, or commercial shipping, will be exchanged with countries in the region to improve maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean.