India and Bangladesh have agreed to institute Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) as an annual exercise between navies of two neighbouring countries. The first edition of CORPAT between two navies was inaugurated by Indian Navy’s Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba during his visit to Bangladesh. The aim Navy Chief’s visit was to consolidate bilateral defence relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation.
The first edition of joint patrol exercise CORPAT was held undermilitary cooperation of both countries. It saw participation of four maritime patrol aircraft, two from Bangladesh Navy and two from Indian navy, and four frigates, two from Bangladesh Navy (BNS Dhaleswari and BNS Abu Bakar) and two from Indian navy (INS Kadmatt and INS Satpura). During the joint patrol, naval forces of both the countries shared information through naval communication and understanding. The warships and patrol aircraft jointly patrolled from Bangladesh’s sea territory and sailed towards the Indian waters in Bay.
The institution of CORPAT between India and Bangladesh is considered as major step towards enhanced operational interaction between both navies. The joint patrol will help to curb maritime crimes, including militancy in sea, and stop various sea crimes like smuggling and piracy in Bay of Bengal. At present, both naval forces are patrolling their respected water territories round-the-clock on individual purpose.
Indian Navy regularly conducts CORPATs with Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar. It also conducts EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) surveillance of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles on their request. . The CORPAT exercise between navies carries out search and rescue operations, institutes measures for vessels indulged in unlawful activities as well as control pollution.
The naval cooperation between India and Bangladesh has been traditionally strong and encompassed wide span which includes operational interactions through port calls, passage exercises along with capacity building, capability enhancement and training initiatives. Over last few years, Indian Navy has expanded its assistance to countries in the region through material support, training, EEZ surveillance, hydrographic assistance, provisioning of platforms, joint exercises and offering slots in professional training courses.