The 25th edition of “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise” will be held from November 10-21 off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
Bilateral cooperation between both the navies was first formalised in 1994 when Republic of Singapore Navy ships began training with the Indian Navy.
The Indian Navy said that in June this year, on the sidelines of the Shangri-la Dialogue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore inked many agreements including those under the ‘Defence and Strategic Partnership Sectors.’
Key among them is the ‘Implementation Agreement between Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy concerning Mutual Coordination, Logistics and Services Support for Naval Ships’, Submarines and Naval Aircraft (including Shipborne Aviation Assets) visits.
The previous edition of the exercise was held off Singapore in the South China Sea in May, 2017.
The 2018 edition marks the Silver Jubilee of SIMBEX. To mark the historical occasion, both navies are undertaking exercises over an extended geography.
This year, the Indian Navy is being represented by the Ranvir class destroyer – INS Ranvijay, two Project 17 multirole stealth frigates – INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, the Project 28 ASW corvette – INS Kadmatt the Project 25A missile corvettes, INS Kirch and the OPVs INS Sumedha and INS Sukanya.
Also taking part are the Fleet Support Ship, INS Shakti, a 2 Sindhughosh Class submarine, INS Sindhukirti, the P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol and ASW aircraft from INAS 312, Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol aircraft from INAS 311, Mk 132 Hawk AJTs from INAS 551 and integral helicopters such as the UH3H, Seaking 42 B, Seaking 42C and Chetak utility helicopters.
The Republic of Singapore Navy is being represented by two stealth frigates – RSS Formidable and RSS Steadfast, one Littoral Mission Vessel – RSS Unity, two Missile Corvettes, RSS Vigour and RSS Valiant, an Archer class Submarine, RSS Swordsman, ‘Swift Rescue’ a Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle (DSRV), a Fokker F50 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, embarked S70B helicopters and Scan Eagle unmanned aerial systems.
Indian Navy has recently inducted its own DSRV and proved the capability at sea on the western seaboard.
The sea phase of this year’s edition is being conducted under the Command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, who will take on the mantle of the Commander Task Group.