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Updated January 16th, 2024 at 09:42 IST

Ayutthaya: Indian and Thai Navy Conduct First Bilateral Exercise with Ayodhya Connect

Indo-Thai naval exercise debuted with INS Kulish, LCU-56, & HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan, also underlining regional maritime security in the 36th Indo-Thai CORPAT.

Digital Desk
Indo-Thai naval exercise debuted with INS Kulish, LCU L-56, and HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan
Indo-Thai naval exercise debuted with INS Kulish, LCU L-56, and HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan | Image:Indian Navy
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Ayutthaya: In a historic first, the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) recently concluded their first-ever joint maritime exercise named 'Ex-Ayutthaya,’ which has a deep connection with the Indian city of Ayodhya. The exercise, conducted from December 20 to 23, 2023, marked a major milestone for the development of bilateral maritime relations between the two nations. Both nations, following the successful conclusion of the maritime exercise, engaged in the 36th edition of Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol as well.

The Ayodhya Connect

The term 'Ex-Ayutthaya' translates to 'The Invincible One' or 'Undefeatable,' illustrating the strong historical ties between Ayodhya in India and Ayutthaya in Thailand. These cities not only share a rich cultural heritage and historical narratives dating back centuries but, intriguingly, as per UNESCO, Ayutthaya was named after Ayodhya, Shri Ram’s birthplace, and Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, also retains ‘Ayutthaya’ in its complete Thai name.

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Indian LCU L-56, a landing craft utility used by Navies around the world for amphibious assault operations. | Image: Indian Navy

 

“The Indo-Thai Bilateral Exercise is named 'Ex-Ayutthaya,' which literally translates to 'The Invincible One' or 'Undefeatable,' symbolising the significance of two of the oldest cities, Ayodhya in India and Ayutthaya in Thailand, with historic legacies, rich cultural ties, and shared historical narratives dating back several centuries,” the MoD said in its official statement.

Indian and Thai Ships that Took Part in CORPAT

The inaugural edition of the exercise saw the participation of indigenously built Indian Naval ships (INS) Kulish and a Landing Craft (LCU L-56), alongside His Thai Majesty's Ship (HTMS) Prachuap Khiri Khan from the RTN. Additionally, the 36th edition of the India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) took place concurrently, highlighting the commitment to maritime security in the region.

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HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan from the RTN. | Indian Navy

Ayodhya-Ayutthaya: Navies Boost Operational Synergy

As per the Ministry, the joint maritime exercise focused on enhancing operational synergy and gradually increasing the complexity of exercises. Units from both navies engaged in various activities, including surface and anti-air exercises, weapon firing, seamanship evolutions, and tactical manoeuvres.

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Aligned with the Government of India's vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has been actively collaborating with countries in the Indian Ocean Region to strengthen regional maritime security. The close and friendly relationship between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy has flourished over the years, culminating in this significant bilateral exercise and the Indo-Thai CORPAT.

INS Kulish along with RTN ship during CORPAT.

 

The successful conduct of the maiden IN-RTN Bilateral Exercise underscores the growing camaraderie between the two maritime neighbours. This collaboration not only strengthens diplomatic ties but also enhances interoperability between the Indian and Thai navies, contributing to the broader goal of regional security and cooperation.

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Published January 16th, 2024 at 07:59 IST

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