Singapore Navy joins first Asean-Russia maritime exercise

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Victory-class missile corvette RSS Vigour is participating in the first-ever Asean-Russia Maritime Exercise that kicked off on Wednesday.

The three-day exercise is being conducted off the Indonesian island of Sabang, north Sumatra, and involves seven other ships and observers.

Singapore's participation in the exercise reaffirmed the country's support for the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) and its commitment to uphold an open and inclusive regional security architecture, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) yesterday.

The ADMM-Plus is an annual meeting of Asean defence ministers and eight dialogue partner countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

During the sea phase of the exercise, the navy ships conducted communication and manoeuvring drills, a search-and-rescue exercise and a maritime security exercise that entailed tracking the movement of simulated vessels of interest.

Asean international liaison officers were also attached to the RSN's Information Fusion Centre, where they used its Real-time Information-sharing System, dubbed Iris, to coordinate the exercise. The Web-based Iris platform allows for rapid maritime security collaboration.

The Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (Cues) was used for communication in the exercise.

This naval code, adopted by the ADMM-Plus navies in 2017, specifies a letters-and-numbers communication protocol that mitigates language barriers in multilateral exercises or operations.

The exercise will conclude today with a sailpast of all participating ships.

RSS Vigour commanding officer Gavin Cheong said: "It is important for navies to cooperate with each other to protect our key maritime trade routes and work towards safer seas."

Lieutenant-Colonel Cheong added: "This exercise allows the navies of Asean member states and Russia to strengthen collaboration, enhance understanding and build confidence in our ability to address common maritime security challenges at sea."

Asean navies previously participated in maritime exercises with China in 2018 and with the US in 2019.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2021, with the headline Singapore Navy joins first Asean-Russia maritime exercise. Subscribe