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Rise in India-ASEAN naval games

India is instituting a series of bilateral and multilateral naval exercises with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries as part of the increasing military-to-military cooperation. This is in addition to assisting the countries in capacity-building and sale of military hardware.

Later this month, the Navies of India and Indonesia will hold their first bilateral exercise in the Java Sea. India will stage a new trilateral exercise with Thailand and Singapore soon.

Beyond patrols

The bilateral with Indonesia is in addition to the Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) that the two sides conduct. The 31st edition of CORPAT concluded on June 9 in which India had deployed INS Kulish, a Kora class missile corvette, and one Dornier maritime patrol aircraft.

“The visit of the INS Kulish seeks to underscore India’s peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen existing bonds between India and Indonesia,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

The new trilateral naval exercise with Thailand and Singapore was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his key note address at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore. The dates and modalities of the exercise are being worked out, a defence source said.

Similarly, the Navy recently conducted maiden bilateral exercises with Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. “The Indian Navy has had extensive interactions with Vietnam People’s Navy, particularly in training, repairs, maintenance and logistics support aimed at capacity building,” the Navy said.

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