|Published: May 2016|
New Delhi. Indian Naval Ships Delhi, Tarkash and Deepak under the Command of the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh, NM have been visiting Muscat from May 21-24.
The visit of IN ships coincides with the visit of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar from May 20-22.
During the visit, the crew of IN ships would undertake professional interactions with the Royal Navy of Oman pertaining to nuances of maritime operations, including means of combating maritime terrorism and piracy.
In addition, calls on senior government and military authorities, sporting and cultural interactions and sharing of best practices, aimed at enhancing cooperation, strengthening ties and mutual understanding between the two navies, are also planned. The visiting IN ships are also likely to conduct exercises with the Royal Navy of Oman.
Bilateral relations between India and Oman have been historically strong based on deep cultural affinity and vibrant economic linkages. In modern times, these 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 Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation in December 2005 and the subsequent establishment of the Joint Military Cooperation Committee in March 2006 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 Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) personnel by the Indian Navy in hydrography, diving, training, logistics and dockyard management.
India and Oman are also members of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a voluntary and co-operative initiative between 30 countries of the Indian Ocean Region, which has served as an ideal forum for sharing of information and cooperation on maritime issues. Oman also supports Indian Navyâ€™s anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden by providing OTR facilities.
The successful conduct of bilateral biennial naval exercise â€˜Naseem Al-Bahrâ€™ off the Indian Coast in February 2016 has reinforced the strong ties between the two navies. The Royal Navy of Omanâ€™s participation in the recently concluded International Fleet Review at Visakhapatnam, India with two ships viz. RNOV Al Shamikh and RNOV Al Seeb, is another indicator of the close ties between the two navies.
The current visit would be another milestone in the strong maritime relationship between the countries. It would strengthen mutual understanding, facilitate sharing of best practices and enhance interoperability. It is to enable a common understanding of the security challenges in the region and contribute to security and stability of this vital part of the Indian Ocean Region.
INS Delhi is commanded by Captain Sandeep Singh Sandhu, INS Tarkash is commanded by Capt Pradeep Singh, NM and INS Deepak is commanded by Capt Sujit Kumar Chhetri.