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Singaporean navy’s vessel arrives at Vizag

New Delhi:The Singaporean navy’s stealth frigate RSS Formidable today arrived at Visakhapatnam on a five-day visit to Eastern Naval Command (ENS) as a part of the ongoing Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises.

The two navies share a long-standing relationship with regular professional interactions which include exchange programmes, staff talks and training courses.

Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalised when RSN ships began training with Indian Navy in 1994 and this year’s edition, SIMBEX-16, is being held in the Bay of Bengal region, an official release said.

Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, RSS Formidable is the first of the six multi-role stealth frigates which forms part of the 185 Squadron based at Changi, the release added.

A senior Singapore Navy delegation, headed by Colonel Aaron Beng, Commanding Officer, 185 Squadron, RSN is also visiting ENC during the period, it said, adding that the visit will encompass interaction between the personnel of both the navies in various professional, cultural, social and sports events.

During the visit, Colonel Aaron Beng, Commanding Officer (CO), 185 Squadron of Republic of Singapore Navy, along with Lt Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, CO, RSS Formidable, will call on Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, ENC and Rear Admiral B Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, the release said.

The 23rd such exercise in the series is aimed at increasing interoperability between RSN and Indian Navy as well as at developing common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations, it added.

The exercise would include wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase, scheduled from October 31 to November 2, and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase, to be held from November 3-5, according to the release.

The thrust of the 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, it said.

During SIMBEX-16, Singapore Navy will be represented by RSS Formidable and maritime patrol aircraft Fokker 50, operating from Port Blair.

Indian Navy will be represented by INS Ranvijay, a guided missile destroyer, INS Kamorta, an indigenous ASW stealth corvette, one Sindhughosh-class submarine, in addition to long range maritime patrol aircraft P8I, maritime patrol aircraft Dornier, advanced jet trainer Hawk and integral rotary wing helicopters are also scheduled to participate in the exercise, the release added.

In February, Singapore Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Lai Chung Han had visited ENC and participated in IFR-16, held in Visakhapatnam, the City of Destiny, it said.