Record number of aircraft, vessels in S'pore-India drill

A record number of military aircraft, ships and submarines are taking part in this year's maritime bilateral exercise between the Singapore and Indian navies, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday.

Now in its 25th year and celebrating its silver jubilee, the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (Simbex) will feature about 30 participating air, sea and underwater assets from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

The exercise, which started yesterday and runs till Nov 21, 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 on the other side.

The militaries of both countries have held joint exercises and training for many years, with a number of bilateral agreements signed.

The army agreement was last renewed in 2013, while the bilateral navy and air force agreements were exchanged last year.

This year's Simbex will feature anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare exercise scenarios, growing in scope and complexity from the first Simbex in 1994, which focused on anti-submarine warfare, said Mindef.

It was at the exercise in 2003 that the RSN became the first South-east Asian navy to successfully fire a torpedo against a moving submarine.

"Since the first exercise in 1994, the RSN has enhanced its capability in anti-submarine warfare with the deployment of a range of assets with anti-submarine capabilities, such as the missile corvettes, anti-submarine patrol vessels, frigates, submarines, and naval air assets," said Mindef.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 11, 2018, with the headline 'Record number of aircraft, vessels in S'pore-India drill'. Print Edition | Subscribe