Exercise to witness unprecedented show of naval capabilities of the two countries to mark silver jubilee of the joint naval drill
The 25th edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) gets underway off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Dubbed as the biggest Singapore-India Maritime naval exercise, in scale and complexity, SIMBEX 2018 will be witnessing the record number of military vessels of both countries taking part in an 11-day exercise, from 11 to 21 November 2018.
India’s Act-East policy has seen an upswing in the recent years with a number of agreements and high level visits between the two countries. India and Singapore have agreed to undertake continuous and institutionalised naval engagements in their shared maritime space, including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional/ASEAN partners. This year marks the silver jubilee of the SIMBEX, and both the navies are undertaking the exercise in an extended geography.
The SIMBEX 2018 will witness the participation of India’s Ranvir class destroyer – INS Ranvijay, two Project 17 multirole stealth frigates – INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, the Project 28 ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) corvette – INS Kadmatt the Project 25A missile corvettes, INS Kirch, the OPVs INS Sumedha and INS Sukanya, the Fleet Support Ship, INS Shakti, a 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 Formidable Class 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 defence ministers of both the countries are scheduled to observe the exercise, also a first for the bilateral exercise.
This year’s exercise will witness a diverse range of activities at sea ranging from live weapon drills, including multiple missile firings, Heavy Weight Torpedo (HWT) and Medium Range Gun/Anti-Submarine Rocket firings; advanced ASW exercises, Submarine Rescue demonstrations; integrated Surface and Anti-Air Warfare (AAW); Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations and Cross Deck Helicopter flying among others, according to a press release by the Indian Navy.