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UAE, Britain launch joint naval exercises in Persian Gulf

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo, a Seafox system is being launched from the UK Royal Navy minehunter HMS Middleton into the Persian Gulf waters during the International Mine Countermeasures exercise off the coast of Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.

Naval forces of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Britain have started joint military exercises in the Persian Gulf within the framework of cooperation, coordination and exchange of experiences and military information between the two countries.

Emirati state news agency, WAM, reported on Sunday that the drills, dubbed “Sea Dagger 2017,” include a series of joint military exercises as part of a unified strategy to strengthen military cooperation between the UAE and British armed forces.

It did not provide any information about which branch of services is included in the exercises, nor did it reveal the exact location of the drills.

Last year, sailors from the UK Royal Navy and the UAE Navy took part in the International Mine Countermeasures exercise off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

The UK Royal Navy's Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessel, HMS Middleton, and Sandown-class minehunter, HMS Bangor, joined the UAE's German-built minehunters, al-Hasbah and al-Murjan.

Hasbah hosted British sailors in Mina Zayed, which is the Emirati capital’s main port, while Murjan joined the two British vessels for a short combined exercise.

The three ships carried out various maneuvers in formation before drill mines were laid, and sonar systems used to locate the explosive devices.

The British ships reportedly made use of Seafox system to close in on the target.

Live TV footage was being fed to operations room in order to allow mine warfare experts to identify and decide how to dispose possible bombs, torpedoes or mines.

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