Why in news? The 35th edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy was conducted.
• Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kesari, an indigenously built LST (L) and Thailand’s Ship (HTMS) Saiburi, a Chao Phraya Class Frigate, along with Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies participated in the CORPAT along the IMBL in the Andaman Sea.
• Aim: Towards reinforcing maritime linkages between the two countries and with an aim of keeping vital part of the Indian Ocean safe and secure for international trade, the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy have been undertaking CORPAT bi-annually since 2005 along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
• The Indian Navy and Royal Thai Navy have enjoyed a close and friendly relationship covering a wide spectrum of activities and interactions, which have strengthened over the years.
• As part of the Government of India’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 achieved through bilateral and multilateral exercises, Coordinated Patrols, Joint EEZ Surveillance, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
• The 35th Indo-Thai CORPAT is another step towards enhancing Indian Navy’s efforts to consolidate inter-operability and forge strong bonds of friendship between India and Thailand.
Importance of CORPAT
• CORPAT builds up understanding and interoperability between navies and facilitates instituting measures to prevent and suppress unlawful activities like Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, piracy and armed robbery.
• It further helps enhance the operational synergy by exchanging information for the prevention of smuggling, and illegal immigration and for the conduct of Search and Rescue (SAR) operations at sea.
Other Military Exercises between India and Thailand:
• Exercise MAITREE (Army).
• Exercise SIAM BHARAT (Air Force).