New Delhi: The Indian Navy and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) conducted a maiden bilateral exercise, named 'Ex-Ayutthaya', which symbolises the significance of 'Ayodhya' in India and Ayutthaya in Thailand, which holds historic legacies and has rich cultural ties.

The Indo-Thai Bilateral Exercise 'Ex-Ayutthaya' translates to 'The Invincible One' or 'Undefeatable', and "symbolises the significance of two of the oldest cities, Ayodhya in India and Ayutthaya in Thailand, the historic legacies, rich cultural ties and shared historical narratives dating back to several centuries," the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

The exercise between the two navies was conducted from December 20 to 23 last year.

The Indian Naval ships Kulish and IN LCU 56 participated in the inaugural edition of the exercise.

The Royal Thai Navy side was represented by His Thai Majesty's Ship (HTMS) Prachuap Khiri Khan, according to the statement.

The 36th edition of the India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) was also conducted along with the maiden bilateral exercise.

Moreover, the Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies participated in the sea phase of the exercise.

By holding such bilateral exercises, both navies have taken a step towards boosting operational synergy and progressively increasing exercise complexity.

"During the maiden edition of the exercise, the participants from both navies conducted surface and anti-air exercises, including weapon firing, seamanship evolutions and tactical manoeuvres," the statement said.

The Indian Navy has been proactively engaged with countries in the Indian Ocean Region towards enhancing regional maritime security as part of the Indian government's vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).

"Meanwhile, the Indian Navy and Royal Thai Navy have maintained a close and friendly relationship that has strengthened over the years," the statement added.

The conduct of the maiden IN-RTN bilateral exercise along with Indo-Thai CORPAT is a testimony to the growing bilateral relations between the two maritime neighbours and has strengthened interoperability between the two navies.