India, Singapore's annual naval exercise begins

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New Delhi, Mar. 25 (ANI): The annual bilateral naval exercises between the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy 'SIMBEX 2009' commenced in the Andaman Sea on Wednesday.

SIMBEX, an acronym for 'Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise', was formalised a decade-and-a-half ago, when RSN ships began training in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) with the Indian Navy, in 1994.

As a part of the 16th annual SIMBEX, exercise units will also exercise in the South China Sea until 02 April 2009.

Over the years, the exercises have reflected the growth in strength, capability, and mutual-confidence of both navies, and the operational relationship between the RSN and the IN has matured so much that Standard Operating Procedures are well in place on both sides.

While the Indian Navy has consolidated and significantly improved its blue-water capability over the years, the growth of the RSN and the acceleration of both, capacity and capability, has been truly breathtaking in its speed and comprehensiveness.

The growth has not only been in terms of platforms and hardware, but also in aspects of soft-skills, human-resource development, and, the generation of 'planning' as well as 'war-fighting' doctrines.

For SIMBEX-2009, the Indian Navy will field units of its Eastern Fleet, bound for the Chinese port-city of 'Qingdao' in the Yellow Sea. Here, they will participate in China's first International Fleet Review.

Both navies will, as usual, field frontline surface and sub-surface combatants for the SIMBEX. This will be in addition to fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft from both sides.

Since the waters of each region of the world differ in their physical characteristics - such as temperature gradients, pressure-gradients, salinity-levels, etc, - different water-columns offer varying degrees of advantage or disadvantage to platforms and sensors that either exploit or operate within these varied water-columns. (ANI)

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