File photo of ships of Singapore Navy and Indian Navy sailing in formation in 2017. (Photo: Singapore's Ministry of Defence)

 

New Delhi (VNA) - Navies of India and Singapore on November 10 began a 12-day military exercise off the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal as part of their efforts to further solidify maritime security cooperation.

A number of frontline ships of the two navies are participating in the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX).

Indian Navy spokesperson Captain D K Sharma said the exercise at sea this year will be unprecedented and largest in terms of the complexity and weapon firings.

The Indian naval ships which are participating in the exercise include Ranvijay, Satpura, Sahyadri, Shakti, Kirch, Kadmatt, Sumedha and Sukanya. Meanwhile, Singapore Navy has sent a number of its frontline ships including Formidable, Steadfast, Unity, Valiant and Vigour.

Maritime Patrol Aircraft of both countries - the versatile P8I of the Indian Navy and Fokker F50 from Singapore would also be part of the exercise, said Captain Sharma.

He added that number of missiles and torpedo firings being undertaken are unprecedented and perhaps the largest the Indian Navy has undertaken with any foreign Navy till date.

The exercise will see sailors from both navies train together in live firing exercises and naval warfare drills. Senior navy officers from Singapore and India will also make official calls to the other side.

Started in 1994, the SIMBEX has graduated into a complex maritime combat drill featuring missile and torpedo firings as well as shore-based intensive professional exchanges, the Indian Navy spokesperson said.

Together with deepening defence cooperation between India and Singapore, the navies of the two countries have expanded their ties significantly in the last few years. The two navies have increased their interoperability to a level that could be matched by few other navies, said Captain Sharma.-VNA