Indian Naval Ships Deepak, Delhi, Tabar and Trishul entered Muscat today and shall remain there till 22 Sep 15. The ships are part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet based at Mumbai and are on a long range deployment to the Persian Gulf to enhance bilateral ties with friendly regional navies. During the visit, the warships will have professional interactions with the defence forces for enhancing co-operation and sharing the nuances of naval operations including disaster management and combating maritime threats of terrorism and piracy. Apart from professional interactions, sports and social engagements are also planned, which are aimed at enhancing co-operation and understanding between the Navies.
India has an ancient maritime tradition and maritime interaction with the Oman dates back to over 4000 years B.C. The Indian Navy today has multi-dimensional capability comprising aircraft carriers, modern ships, submarines, aircraft and marine commandos. A notable feature of the Indian Navy’s force structure is the fact that the overwhelming majority of its ships are designed and constructed in India.
The Indian Navy has close and friendly ties with all navies in the Gulf and has been regularly exercising with many of them. The Indian Navy is also provides training and hydrographic support to several navies in the region. The involvement of Indian Naval ships in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia since October 2008 has further strengthened bilateral ties and interaction with navies in the region.
Bilateral relations between India and Oman were formally established with the 1953 Indo-Oman Treaty of Friendship, Navigation and Commerce, a first between India and any Arab country. The signing of a MoU on Defence Cooperation in Dec 05 and the subsequent establishment of the Joint Military Cooperation Committee in Mar 06 has set the foundation for increased defence cooperation. Since then, naval cooperation between the countries has progressed steadily with increased port visits by naval ships and training of RNO personnel by the Indian Navy in hydrography, diving, training management, logistics management and dockyard management. The biennial naval exercise ‘Naseem-Al-Bahr’ has also enhanced the inter-operability between the two navies. India and Oman are also members of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a voluntary and co-operative initiative between 35 countries of the Indian Ocean Region, which has served as an ideal forum for sharing of information and cooperation on maritime issues. The current visit seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries in the Gulf and strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and Oman.
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