Navies of India, Singapore engaged in joint exercises

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New Delhi, Mar 28 (UNI) The bilateral exercises between the navies of India and Singapore are in full swing in the country's Eastern seaboard.

'Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercises' or SIMBEX are an institutionalised and regular series of annual exercises conducted between the Indian Navy and that of the Republic of Singapore.

The Indian Navy's operational interaction with that of Singapore, which commenced with modesty pitched anti-submarine training exercises in 1994, has grown steadily and impressively over the past 14 years.

SIMBEX-2008, were at present being conducted on India's Eastern seaboard from March 16 and would commence on March 30.

For SIMBEX-2008, Singapore fielded one 'Endurance class' landing platform dock (RSS Persistence), one 'Formidable class' frigate (RSS Formidable), two 'Victory Class' guided- missile corvettes (RSS Vigilance and Valour), and one 'Fokker-50' maritime patrol aircraft.

The Indian participation in the exercise included one guided missile destroyer (INS Rajput), one guided-missile frigate (INS Gomati), two guided-missile corvettes (Kirch and Kuthar), two missile vessels (Vinash Vibhut), one fast attack craft (INS Trinkat), one submarine (INS VAGLI) shore-based fighter aircraft (IN Kiran and IAF MIG-27s) medium-range maritime patrol aircraft (Dornier) and shipborne helicopters.

Bilateral interaction was progressed at sea as well as in harbour. While the harbour phase focussed on sharing operational experiences through professional interaction, the sea phase concentrated upon the conduct of a plethora of exercises ranging from surface firings and anti-aircraft engagements to anti-submarine warfare exercises and serials involving the deployment and coordination of maritime patrol aircraft as well as shore based fighters.

The Indian Navy laid great stress on enhancing and sustaining bilateral ties, as also on improving mutual understanding with regional navies, through exercises such as those of the SIMBEX series.

The exercises not only provide immense training value to India's sea personnel, but also help in fostering mutual trust and friendship between the respective nations, adding strength to the commitment and resolve to tackle common challenges with the maritime domain.

UNI AG VD HS1710

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