The Indian Navy and the Sudanese Navy conducted a maritime partnership exercise in the Red Sea on September 10.
On September 10, the Indian Navy conducted a maritime partnership exercise in the Red Sea with the Sudanese Navy.
Despite establishing a solid energy partnership in the 2000s, this was the first time the Indian and Sudanese navies collaborated on a joint exercise.
The Indian ship INS Tabar and the Sudanese ships Almazz and Nimar took part in the practice.
The INS Tabar is currently on deployment to Europe and Africa. Aside from Sudan, it has also participated in Mediterranean naval exercises with the Egyptian Navy.
Egypt and Sudan are essential players in the geopolitics of the Red Sea, and the location is along with one of the most important maritime routes due to their proximity to the Suez Canal.
As a result, both of these exercises have significant strategic significance and point to the Indian Navy’s expanding maritime horizons.
Multiple activities covering a wide range of naval operations were included in the exercise, including coordinated manoeuvring, replenishment at sea [RAS] drills, helo operations, operations for interdicting suspect vessels at sea, and communication procedures.
The exercise significantly improved interoperability between the two navies and broadened the scope for future combined operations against common maritime threats.
Presence of Indian Navy
The Indian Navy also played an essential role in the anti-piracy operations. India is a resident naval power willing and eager to maintain regional security in the Indian Ocean, including the Northwest Indian Ocean sub-theater.
Over the years, India has established a regular maritime presence in the Gulf of Aden and the Southwest Indian Ocean.
India has repeatedly provided much-needed humanitarian assistance to the region’s coastal states. India has also positioned itself as the region’s “preferred security partner.”
The Indian Navy occupies a unique position in the regional geopolitics of the Northwest Indian Ocean.
It has close relations with the United States, Japan, and France, and as a result, Indian navy ships can access their naval bases in Djibouti.
Russia’s upcoming maritime base in Port Sudan also collaborates between Indian and Russian navies in the Red Sea and the Western Indian Ocean.
Regarding the context of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden geopolitics, India’s deepening strategic partnership with the UAE could be strengthened further in the domain of maritime security.
India and Taiwan are both interested in containing Chinese power. Taiwanese presence in Somaliland and UAE facilities along the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, including Berbera, could be used to keep a close eye on Chinese activities in the region.
Geopolitics of the Red Sea
The Red Sea connects West Asia and Africa and is a critical geopolitical space where rivalries between Gulf powers are played out.
The Red Sea connects the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean via the Bab-el-Mandeb strait and the Suez Canal.
The Red Sea transports a large amount of oil and trade. It is an important waterway for global energy security and the global economy.
The recent Suez Canal blockage highlighted the Red Sea’s and Suez Canal’s strategic importance to the worldwide economy.
In recent years, the Red Sea has emerged as a critical sub-theatre in the Western Indian Ocean‘s evolving geopolitics (WIO).
Foreign powers have established a military presence in the region and are becoming more involved in maritime and continental affairs in and around the Red Sea.
In the area, Russia, China, the United States (US), France, and Japan all have military bases. Even the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia involving in shaping the regional geopolitical and security landscape.
Indeed, the presence of security threats like terrorism and maritime piracy drew foreign powers to the region.
Following the Global War on Terror launch, the United States established an extensive network of bases in the Western Indian Ocean and Africa, including Djibouti.
Around 2007-08, maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden threatened global shipping, and Somalia could not contain pirates operating from its territorial waters.
As a result, a multinational naval security effort was initiated. Major powers’ navies, including Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea, dispatched warships to the region to participate in anti-piracy operations.
The Indian maritime footprint is expanding throughout the region between the Suez Canal and Japan.
The growing interest in the area is demonstrated by the regular deployment of warships for naval exercises with friendly countries and defence diplomacy.
As a result, the Indian Navy indicates that the Western Pacific and the Red Sea are becoming essential components of its strategic dynamics.
The naval exercises with the Egyptian and Sudanese navies demonstrate the expanding strategic maritime horizons and highlight the Red Sea’s growing importance in India’s security matrix.