Today, both Indian and Thai Navies have commenced a three-day (June 9 to 11) coordinated patrol. The officials have informed that the Indian Navy’s offshore patrol vessel INS Saryu and Thai ship Krabi along with Dornier maritime patrol aircraft from both navies are participating in the 31st edition of the India-Thailand coordinated patrol (CORPAT).

The development comes in the backdrop of surging concern over China’s increasing maritime presence in the Indian Ocean region. Since 2005, the navies have been bi-annually undertaking CORPAT along their international maritime boundary line (IMBL). Such an initiative is undertaken to protect and secure the vital part of the Indian Ocean for global trade.

According to the statement of the Defense Ministry, it cited that the CORPAT builds up understanding and interoperability between navies. Adding to this, CORPAT also aims to facilitate the institution of measures to prevent and suppress unlawful activities like illegal unreported unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery, and piracy.

“It further helps enhance the operational synergy by exchange of information for the prevention of smuggling, illegal immigration and the conduct of SAR operations at sea,” the statement read. As a part of the government’s vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has been proactively engaging with the countries in the Indian Ocean Region towards enhancing regional maritime security.

This has been possible through multiple bilateral and multilateral exercises, Coordinated Patrols, Joint EEZ Surveillance, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. The Defense Ministry informed that the 31st Indo-Thai CORPAT will contribute towards the Indian Navy’s efforts to consolidate interoperability and forge strong bonds of friendship with the Royal Thai Navy.

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