New Delhi: The 24th bilateral exercise SIMBEX-17 between Indian Navy (IN) and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has commenced in South China Sea on Thursday and will culminate post seven days on May 24.
This year’s bilateral maritime exercise is aimed at increasing interoperability amongst the RSN and IN as well as developing common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.
The exercise is divided into two phases – the Harbour phase, which is scheduled from May 18 to May 20 and the Sea Phase to be held from May 21 to May 24.
Indian Naval Ships Shivalik, Sahyadri, Jyoti and Kamorta, one P8-I Maritime Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft are participating in the exercise.
While INS Sahyadri and INS Kamorta arrived on May 12, 2017, INS Shivalik and INS Jyoti will be joining directly for the sea phase.
The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), integrated operations with Surface, Air and Sub-surface Forces, Air Defence and Surface Encounter Exercises.
The ships are under the command of Rear Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, YSM, VSM, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
The Singapore Navy is represented by RSN Ships Supreme, Formidable and Victory and Maritime Patrol Aircraft Fokker F50 in addition to the RSAF F-16 aircraft.
SIMBEX is an acronym for “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises”.
Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalised when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994.
The two navies share a long standing relationship with regular professional interactions that include exchange programs, staff talks and training courses. Singapore Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Lai Chung Han had earlier visited ENC and participated in lFR-16 held in February last year in the City of Destiny, Visakhapatnam. (ANI)