Relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is a vast and dynamic web of cooperative linkages, especially they share strong military ties.
As part of this, both regularly engage in joint drills to benefit from each other’s experiences and expertise.
Currently the joint Naval Exercise Naseem al Bahar between Pakistan Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Forces is underway in the North Arabian Sea.
This is 13th of Naseem al Bahr series. Since inception of this biennial exercise, it has matured to an advanced level maritime exercise involving almost all facets of naval forces.
The level of participation from both sides signifies trust and mutual confidence that exists between the two brotherly countries and is aimed at enhancing interoperability and sharpens tactical proficiency in countering maritime security threats.
Such exercises help both sides in developing synergy in operations against asymmetric, air, surface and mine threats.
The maiden participation of Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) F-15 S/A in the latest series of Naseem al Bahar added a unique blend to the Joint Maritime Operations conducted during the exercise.
Conduct of this drill in present geo-political milieu assumes great significance and we understand it will go a long way in enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries.
Apart from these exercises, Pakistan is also providing training to Saudi naval and other military personnel. Since its establishment, Pakistan Naval Academy has trained some two thousand officers of friendly countries, including many of the Royal Saudi Navy and other Gulf countries.
Given the close and unbreakable bonds, there is still immense scope to further enhance bilateral military engagements and cooperation in various fields between Pakistan and the Kingdom.
In fact, both the countries can enter into joint defence production ventures which will entail great economic benefits as well as lead them towards achieving self-reliance in defence related products. Pakistan is producing some state-of-the-art military equipment especially JF-17 thunder fighter jets.
Though the Kingdom has in its inventory advanced fighter jets yet we need to approach Saudi authorities to appraise capabilities of our fighter jet, as already countries like Argentina have shown interest to purchase JF-17. It will be a cost-effective platform for the KSA to meet its defence requirements.