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NEW DELHI: India and Singapore completed a bilateral sea exercise on Saturday and the complexity of the exercises shows ample evidence of the interoperability achieved between the two countries’ navies.
The 28th edition of the Singapore-India bilateral sea exercise (SIMBEX) was conducted from September 2-4, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
The Indian Navy was represented by the guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay with a ship helicopter, the ASW Corvette INS Kiltan and the guided missile corvette INS Kora and a P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft, the statement said.
RSN attendees included a Formidable-class frigate, RSS Steadfast, embarked on an S-70B naval helicopter, a Victory-class missile corvette, RSS Vigor, an Archer-class submarine, and a Fokker-50 Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-16 fighter jets also took part in the exercise during the Air Defense Drills.
SIMBEX was launched in 1994 and is the Indian Navy’s longest uninterrupted bilateral sea exercise with a foreign navy. Maintaining the continuity of this significant engagement despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic underscores the strength of bilateral defense ties between the two countries.
Despite these constraints during the planning phase, both navies were able to seamlessly and safely conduct several challenging developments, including the firing of live weapons and advanced sea war series, including submarine, air and ground combat exercises.
This year’s edition of SIMBEX is also a “special occasion” as it takes place during the ongoing celebrations for India’s 75th year of independence.
The success of SIMBEX-2021 is further proof of the mutual determination of both sides to further strengthen the bilateral partnership in the coming years.
Due to the ongoing pandemic-related restrictions, this year’s SIMBEX was planned as a “sea only” exercise without physical interactions, which was organized by the RSN on the southern edge of the South China Sea.
Defense relations between India and Singapore remain a very important aspect of the overall bilateral relationship and cover a very wide range of cooperation, from conventional military-military exchanges to HADR and cybersecurity.
Both Marines have a representation in each other’s Maritime Information Fusion Centers and recently signed an agreement on mutual support and coordination of submarine rescue.