Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021: India and Saudi Arabia are all set to conduct their first-ever naval exercise called “AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2021”.
- The joint naval exercise showcases the reflection of growing defence and military cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia.
- Indian Navy’s guided-missile destroyer INS Kochi reached Saudi Arabia on 9th August 2021 for the “Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021” exercise after conducting the “Zayed Talwar” drill with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) off the coast of Abu Dhabi
- The harbour phase of the “Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021” exercise began on 9th August while the sea-based drills are taking place from 11th August 2021.
- The joint naval exercise is taking place amid increasing tension in the Gulf region following a drone attack on the merchant tanker off Oman that killed a British national and Romanian citizen.
- INS Kochi, on its arrival, was given a warm welcome by officials of Royal Saudi naval forces.
- Al-Mohed Al-Hindi comprises a number of shore and sea-based drills between the two navies.
- During its stay at Jubail port, the Indian warship will follow all Covid-19 protocols laid down by Saudi authorities.
Note: Planning by India and Saudi Arabia for their first naval exercise had begun in 2019 but the move was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The exercise is taking place amid rising tension in the Gulf region after a drone attack on a merchant tanker off Oman killed a British national and a Romanian citizen over a week back.
- The United States and the United Kingdom had accused Iran of carrying the attack on MV Mercer Street.
- Indian Army Chief General M M Narvane, in December 2020, was the first-ever Army Chief to visit Saudi Arabia.
- The armies of the two nations planned to hold the first-ever joint military exercise in the later part of 2021.
About INS Kochi:
- INS Kochi is an indigenously designed and built Kolkata-class stealth-guided missile destroyer.
- The warship incorporates new design concepts for stealth and has a large component of indigenous combat suites.
- It was built for the Indian Navy under the code name Project 15A.
- The ship was constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai and commissioned to Indian Navy service in September 2015.
- This ship is classified as a ‘Network of Networks’ because it is equipped with sophisticated digital networks, and a unique feature of the warship is the high level of indigenization, with most systems sourced from within India.
- Some of the major indigenized systems on INS Kochi include the electronic warfare suite and the ship’s stabilizers.
- It is also equipped sophisticated array of state of art weapons and sensors that can neutralize any threat from air, sea, and underwater.