India, France & UAE hold Maritime Partnership Exercise in the Gulf of Oman
The exercise is a significant step in trilateral cooperation between the three nations
India, France, and the UAE have come together for the first edition of the Maritime Partnership Exercise in the Gulf of Oman, showcasing their naval capabilities and commitment to trilateral cooperation.
The exercise commenced on June 7, 2023, in the Gulf of Oman, marking a significant step in trilateral cooperation between the three nations.
According to information released by India's Ministry of Defence on Thursday (June 8, 2023), the exercise, scheduled over two days, involves a wide spectrum of naval operations, including Surface Warfare, tactical firing, Missile engagements on surface targets, Helicopter Cross Deck Landing Operations, Advanced Air Defence Exercise, and Boarding operations. The exercise also includes cross embarkation of personnel for the exchange of best practices.
Participating in the exercise are INS Tarkash and French Ship Surcouf, both with integral helicopters, French Rafale aircraft, and UAE Navy Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
The maiden exercise aims to enhance trilateral cooperation between the three navies and pave the way for adopting measures to address traditional and non-traditional threats in the maritime environment. The exercise will also enhance collaboration in ensuring the safety of mercantile trade and freedom of navigation at high seas in the region, the Ministry of Defence said.
INDIAN NAVY'S NOTEWORTHY MULTILATERAL EXERCISES
The Malabar series of exercises began as an annual bilateral naval exercise between India and the US in 1992. Japan joined the Naval Exercises in 2015, and Malabar 2020 saw the participation of the Australian Navy as well.
The Malabar Naval exercises have enhanced synergy, interoperability, and coordination between the four country navies. The exercises highlight the convergence of views among the participating countries on maritime issues and their shared commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.
The 26th edition of the multinational maritime exercise Malabar 22 culminated in the seas off Japan on November 15, 2022, marking the 30th anniversary of the exercise. Hosted by the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF), the sea phase of Malabar 22 was conducted over five days near Yokosuka and witnessed live weapon firings, surface, anti-air, and anti-submarine warfare drills, and tactical procedures.
Another significant exercise is Milan, a biennial multilateral naval exercise incepted by the Indian Navy in 1995 at Andaman and Nicobar Command. The latest edition of Exercise Milan took place in 2022, with the theme "Camaraderie – Cohesion – Collaboration," aiming to project India as a responsible maritime power to the world at large. Milan 2022 witnessed its largest-ever participation, with more than 40 countries sending their warships and high-level delegations.
TACKLING THE EVOLVING MARITIME CHALLENGES
As the India-France-UAE Maritime Partnership Exercise progresses, it is essential to recognize the broader implications of this trilateral cooperation. The exercise not only strengthens the ties between the participating nations but also sends a message of unity and collaboration in the face of evolving maritime challenges.
The Gulf of Oman, where the exercise is taking place, is a strategically significant region, with vital shipping lanes and significant energy resources. By conducting this exercise in the area, the three nations have demonstrated their commitment to maintaining peace, stability, and freedom of navigation in the region.
Moreover, the exercise highlights the importance of interoperability and the sharing of best practices among the participating navies. As maritime threats become more complex and diverse, it is crucial for nations to work together and learn from each other to effectively address these challenges.
In the future, the success of this maiden exercise could pave the way for more extensive and frequent trilateral or multilateral exercises involving other regional and global partners. Such collaborations would further enhance the participating nations' ability to address maritime challenges collectively and promote a stable, rules-based international order.
As the world faces an increasingly complex and interconnected maritime environment, exercises like the India-France-UAE Maritime Partnership Exercise play a crucial role in fostering cooperation, enhancing capabilities, and promoting a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the maritime domain. By working together, these nations can contribute to a more secure, stable, and prosperous future for all.