Context: Indian Navy Dornier maritime patrol aircraft and an Indian Air Force (IAF) C-130 transport aircraft visited Australia’s Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) in the Southern Indian Ocean.
About Coco Islands
- CKI is an Australian external territory 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 of which only two – West Island and Home Island – are inhabited.
- It is a small archipelago approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka and relatively close to the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
- The territory’s Malay name is Pulu Kokos (Keeling).
- The Cocos Islands are strategically important because of their proximity to shipping lanes in the Indian and Pacific oceans.
- It can be an important base for refuelling and Operational Turnaround for the Indian military, especially once the runway there is expanded to accommodate large aircraft like the P-8 long range maritime patrol aircraft.