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Indian Naval Ships Deepak, Tarkash and Delhi, under the Command of Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Ravneet Singh, will visit Muscat from 21 – 24 May 16. The Ships are part of Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command, based at Mumbai, and are on a month-long deployment in the Gulf region to enhance bilateral ties with friendly regional Navies. During the visit to Muscat, the Ships will have professional interactions with Royal Navy of Oman for enhancing co-operation and sharing their experiences in naval operations, including disaster management and combating maritime threats of terrorism and piracy. Apart from professional interactions, sports and social engagements for the crew are also planned, which are aimed at enhancing co-operation and understanding between the Indian and Omani Navies.

There is a historical tradition of maritime interaction between India and Oman, dating back to several millennia. Indian Navy today is the largest resident Navy in Indian Ocean Region, with multi-dimensional capability, comprising aircraft carriers, modern ships, submarines, aircraft and marine commandos. A notable feature of Indian Navy’s force structure is the fact that an overwhelming majority of its Ships are designed and built in India.

Indian Navy has close and friendly ties with the Navies of the Gulf region and has been regularly exercising with many of them. It has also been providing 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 interactions with Navies in the Region.

Bilateral relations between India and Oman were formally established with 1953 Indo-Oman Treaty of Friendship, Navigation and Commerce. The MoU on Defence Cooperation, which was signed in Dec 2005, provides the framework for defence cooperation between the two countries. The India - Oman Joint Military Cooperation Committee, set up in Mar 2006, has been providing direction for increased defence cooperation. Naval cooperation between the two countries has progressed steadily with increased port visits by Naval Ships and training of RNO personnel by Indian Navy in hydrography, diving, training management, logistics management and dockyard management. The biennial Naval Exercise ‘Naseem Al-Bahr’ has enhanced inter-operability between the two Navies. The last Joint Naval Exercise, off the Indian coast, in Feb 2016, was a great success. India and Oman are also members of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a voluntary and co-operative initiative amongst 35 countries of the Indian Ocean Region, which has served as a Forum for sharing information and promoting cooperation on maritime issues.

The current visit of the Indian Naval Ships to the Gulf region, including Muscat, seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries in the Gulf region and strengthen the bonds of friendship between India and Oman.




   

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