Saturday, May 30, 2020
banner
Home /  Nation  /  Qatar, India begin first-ever joint naval drill

Qatar, India begin first-ever joint naval drill

Qatar, India begin first-ever joint naval drill

Satyendra Pathak
Doha
IN a major boost to bilateral defence ties, Qatar and India began their first-ever joint naval exercise named ‘Za’ir Al-Bahr’, meaning ‘Roar of the Sea’, off the coast of Qatar on Sunday.
Indian Navy’s guided-missile stealth frigate INS Trikand and patrol aircraft P8-I arrived at the Hamad Port on Sunday to participate in the five-day inaugural edition of the bilateral maritime exercise with Qatari Amiri Naval Forces.
The Qatari Amiri Naval Forces is participating in this exercise with its versatile anti-ship missile-equipped Barzan Class fast attack craft and Rafale multi-task fighter aircraft.
Addressing a press conference onboard INS Trikand at the Hamad Port, India Ambassador to Qatar HE P Kumaran said, “INS Trikand has formidable capabilities and the time it spends with the friendly naval forces of Qatar will establish a strong platform for us to advance our shared maritime security objectives in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean.”
“India and Qatar have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations. The inaugural edition of the bilateral maritime exercise between the two navies would further strengthen the robust defence co-operation between the two countries, especially in the fight against terrorism, maritime piracy and maritime security,” Kumaran added.
“Many new initiatives are on the anvil. The maritime relationship between the two countries is getting better each day. There are a number of areas where the two navies cooperate with different operations at sea. We have port visits and training exchanges. We have areas of information sharing,” he said.
The envoy also revealed that India will have a bigger presence at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (Dimdex) to be held next year.
According to the envoy, these initiatives are a part of the understanding reached between the two countries that aim at furthering cooperation in defence.
INS Trikand, commanded by Captain Vishal Bishnoi, is one of the frontline frigates of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors.
Bishnoi said, “The exercise will include a three-day harbour phase and two days of sea phase. The activities during the harbour phase will include a seminar, professional interaction, official visits, sports fixtures along with social and cultural events.”
The sea phase will include a tactical maritime exercise involving the domains of surface action, air defence, maritime surveillance and interdiction operation and anti-terrorism, he said.
QENS Debeel Commanding Officer Major Ghanim al Kaabi said, “The first full-fledged joint naval exercises by Qatar and India are signs of the bilateral relations going from strength to strength. In the present environment, cooperation between the two naval forces is of paramount importance to ensure stability and security in the India-Pacific and Gulf region.”
Hailing Indian Navy as one of the best in the world, Kaabi said the joint exercises would strengthen cooperation and enhance interoperability between the two navies.
“Indian naval warships are one of the best in the world. Qatar aims to add big naval warships made in India to further strengthen its naval force,” Kaabi said.
As many as 50 naval staff from Qatar and 230 from India will take part in the joint exercise.
Captain Kapil Kaushik, defence attache at the Embassy of India in Doha, said that the two countries earlier had passage exercise called ‘Passex’ in March and September last year.

Pages