India, Saudi Arabia To Carry Out First-Ever Naval Exercise – AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2021 | Daily Current Affairs 2021

India, Saudi Arabia To Carry Out First-Ever Naval Exercise – AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2021

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Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021

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”.

Key Highlights:

  • 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:

  • 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.

Significance:

  • 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.

Background:

  • 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.

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