To contribute towards the Indian Navy’s efforts to further consolidate inter-operability and strengthen maritime relationships with the Royal Thai Navy, the 31st Indo-Thai CORPAT has taken off today.
In this edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) which is being conducted by from June 9-11, 2021, (INS) Saryu, an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel and His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Krabi, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, have been designated to be part of the drill. Both navies are also deploying Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft in the CORPAT.
What is the focus of CORPAT?
Along their International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) since 2005, the navies of both countries have been undertaking CORPAT. According to the Indian Navy, “reinforcing maritime links, and keeping this vital part of the Indian Ocean safe and secure for international trade.”
More about CORPAT
It helps in building up understanding and interoperability between navies of countries.
Most importantly it helps in facilitating institution of measures to prevent and control unlawful activities like drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, piracy, Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing and armed robbery.
And enhances the operational synergy by exchange of information for conduct of SAR operations at sea, illegal immigration and prevention of smuggling.
For enhancing regional maritime security, the Indian Navy has been engaging with the countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This is being done through Coordinated Patrols, Joint EEZ Surveillance, bilateral and multilateral exercises, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
Indian and Thai Navies
Both navies have been having interactions which cover a wide range of issues and have been conducting drills over the years.
India’s `Act East’ policy
According to a senior naval officer, “With China continuing its Belt and Road Initiative in the region, New Delhi has been focusing on deepening its engagements with the ASEAN Regional Bloc. The focus has also been on maritime security.
The Indian Navy carries out drills with the member countries of the bloc from time to time.