The 9th edition of the bilateral Indian Navy-Royal Omani Navy biennial exercise began on 23 September 2013 off the coast of Oman, in the North Arabian Sea.
Indian Naval Ships Mysore (guided missile destroyer), Tarkash and Tabar (stealth frigates) and Aditya (fleet tanker) are participating under the command of the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla. The Royal Omani Navy is being represented by Royal Navy of Oman Vessels (RNOV) missile and gun vessels, Al Muazzar, Al Mussandam, Al Naja and a Landing ship RNOV Temsah, along with Royal Air Force of Oman aircraft F-16, Hawks and Jaguars amongst others.
With the first Indian Navy-Royal Navy of Oman exercise conducted in 1993, this year marks 20 years of IN-RNO bilateral exercises. “Naseem Al Bahr” 2013, will be the ninth edition of the biennial bilateral exercise between the two navies. The exercise is aimed at deriving mutual benefit from the experiences of both the navies. A good measure of interoperability has been achieved over the years as result of such exercises. The scope and content of exercises have also increased progressively. The focus of the exercise this year would be on Surface Warfare, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Anti Air Warfare, Air Operation, Advanced Helo Operations and Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO).
Bilateral relations between India and Oman were formally established with signing of a 1953 Indo-Oman Treaty of friendship, Navigation and Commerce, a first between India and an Arab country. The signing of a MoU on Defence Cooperation in December 2005 and subsequent establishment of the Joint Military Cooperation in March 2006 have set the foundation for increased defence cooperation. Since then, naval cooperation between the countries has progressed steadily with increased port visits by naval ships and training of RNO personnel by the Indian Navy in hydrography, diving, training management, logistics management and dockyard management.
The exercise with the Omani Navy is the last leg of the Western Fleet’s Overseas Development to the Persian Gulf as the IN Ships have visited UAE and Kuwait earlier during their month-long deployment to enhance bilateral ties and engage in naval exercise with friendly regional navies.
Press Release, September 26, 2013