Singapore, India navies conclude annual bilateral maritime exercise

The RSN and IN ships sailing in formation. Row 1: RSS Formidable; Row 2 (left to right): INS Kamorta, INS Sahyadri, RSS Victory; Row 3 (left to right): RSS Supreme, INS Jyoti, INS Shivalik. PHOTO: MINDEF
RSN and IN personnel at the RSN's Naval Warfare Simulation Centre during the shore phase of Simbex. PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Navy and the Indian Navy have concluded a seven-day bilateral exercise that involved Singapore's F-15SG fighter jets taking part for the first time.

The annual Singapore-Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise (Simbex), which has been held since 1994, was hosted by Singapore on land at the RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base and at sea in the South China Sea, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) on Wednesday (May 24).

Besides the F-15SG jets, the Republic of Singapore Air Force also deployed two F-16D+ fighter aircraft and a Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft for the exercise.

The Singapore navy participated with two frigates - RSS Formidable, which was equipped with an S-70B naval helicopter, and RSS Supreme - as well as missile corvette RSS Victory.

The Indian navy deployed two frigates INS Sahyadri and INS Shivalik, corvette INS Kamorta, oiler INS Jyoti and a P8-I maritime patrol aircraft.

During the exercise which ended on Wednesday, the two navies conducted a series of advanced naval warfare serials, including air defence exercises and gunnery live-firings.

The sea phase of Simbex also saw the two navies working together to plan and execute a series of warfare missions, known as a mission-oriented surface action group exercise.

Over the years, Simbex has progressed beyond its original emphasis on anti-submarine warfare to include elements of maritime security, anti-air and anti-surface warfare, said Mindef.

It has also evolved from being a serial-based exercise to a mission-based exercise, incorporating scenarios with threats from surface, underwater and air, said commanding officer of RSS Formidable, Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) Albert Khoo.

Before the exercise, India's INS Sahyadri and INS Kamorta had joined in the Singapore navy's 50th birthday celebrations at the inaugural Singapore International Maritime Review on May 15, as well as the Imdex Asia maritime defence trade show from May 16-18.

"Both navies are also exploring new and enhanced areas of cooperation in the maritime domain," said Mindef.

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