New Delhi: Indian Naval Ships Deepak, Delhi, Tabar and Trishul are on a month-long deployment to the Gulf to enhance bilateral ties and engage in naval exercises with friendly regional navies. The visiting ships form part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet and are based at Mumbai. Of the four ships, INS Delhi and INS Trishul entered Al-Jubail today and will stay there till 13 Sep 15, during which the warships will have professional interactions to enhance co-operation and understanding 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 Gulf 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 privileged to provide 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.
India and Saudi Arabia have always maintained close and friendly relations deep rooted in shared history and cultural affinities. The relations are sustained and nourished through growing bilateral trade, cooperation in fields of energy, scientific and cultural exchanges and security cooperation. Indians are the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia with over 2.88 million Indian nationals working and contributing towards development of ‘The Land of Two Holy Mosques’. 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 Saudi Arabia.