In an effort to foster stronger relationships among friendly nations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the Indian Navy has put forward a series of pioneering proposals. These initiatives aim to create collaborative training facilities for partner countries and deploy a multinational crewed warship for patrols in the littoral waters. The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, unveiled these suggestions during the Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC), which brought together naval chiefs from 12 nations to deliberate on shared maritime interests.
At the heart of the Indian Navy’s proposals is the commitment to spearhead the establishment of training facilities for friendly nations. This endeavor aligns closely with the principles of the “Security and Growth for All in the Region” (SAGAR) maritime initiative. Admiral Kumar emphasized the Indian Navy’s readiness to take ownership of this initiative and drive it forward.
Furthermore, the naval chief advocated the need for a flexible and reliable operational framework that can effectively address common maritime challenges faced by neighboring nations. He outlined a comprehensive approach organized around four pillars: maritime law, information, strategy and protocols, training, and capacity building.
The GMC, attended by Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, provided a platform for in-depth discussions on these initiatives. One notably innovative proposal is the creation of a dedicated ship for maritime patrols, which would be crewed by members from all participating nations. This vessel, known as the “Indian Ocean Ship SAGAR,” would conduct patrols in the IOR with a diverse crew representing all GMC nations.
Admiral Kumar’s concluding remarks at the GMC highlighted the potential for these four pillars to shape bilateral ties between the participating nations and strengthen cooperation in the IOR. The Indian Navy’s proactive approach seeks to build consensus and enhance collaboration among friendly nations, reinforcing the shared commitment to regional stability and growth in the Indian Ocean Region.