Indian and Singapore Navies Launch Joint SIMBEX Exercise in South China Sea


Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy Commence SIMBEX Maritime Exercise in South China Sea

INS Ranvijay and INS Kavaratti Participate in SIMBEX

Indian Navy Ships INS Ranvijay and INS Kavaratti have anchored in the southern parts of the South China Sea as part of the 30th Edition of the Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX). The week-long exercise, which began on Thursday, aims to enhance cooperation and professionalism between the navies of India and Singapore.

Warships and Aircraft Deployed

INS Ranvijay, a Rajput-class destroyer, and INS Kavaratti, a Kamorta-class corvette, are among the Indian Navy vessels participating in SIMBEX. These ships are accompanied by a P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, which adds reconnaissance capabilities to the exercise.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has deployed two Formidable-class frigates, named RSS Stalwart and RSS Tenacious. These warships are joined by an S-70B naval helicopter and the Victory-class missile corvette RSS Valour.

Shining Testament of Enduring Partnership

Opening Ceremony and Unveiling of Commemorative Logo

At the opening ceremony of SIMBEX, the Fleet Commander of RSN, Colonel (COL) Kwan Hon Chuong, and the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of India’s Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, unveiled the commemorative logo for the 30th edition of the exercise.

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COL Kwan emphasized the significance of SIMBEX in enhancing the professionalism of both navies and strengthening their operational capabilities. He described SIMBEX as a “shining testament” to the enduring partnership between the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy, which has evolved over the past three decades.

Phases of SIMBEX

Land and Sea Phases

SIMBEX is conducted in two phases: the land phase and the sea phase. During the land phase, which is held at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base from September 21 to September 24, sailors from both navies engage in joint planning, professional exchanges, and sports activities. It is also during this phase that the two navies will sign a submarine rescue joint standard operating procedures (JSOP) document.

The sea phase of SIMBEX takes place in the southern reaches of the South China Sea, in international waters, from September 25 to September 28. This phase involves various naval drills, including anti-submarine warfare and live weapon firing. Both navies will conduct a series of naval serials in the air, surface, and underwater domains, such as gunnery firing, air defense, anti-submarine exercises, communication drills, and maneuvering exercises. The exercise will conclude with a sail-past of participating ships.

Evolution of SIMBEX and Beyond

SIMBEX, first held in 1994, has grown in scope and complexity over the years. It has expanded beyond conventional naval warfare to include elements of maritime security. The exercise serves as a platform not only for strengthening operational capabilities but also for nurturing the bonds of friendship between sailors of the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy.

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In addition to SIMBEX, the two navies regularly interact through a wide range of activities, including professional exchanges, staff talks, and training courses.

Conclusion

The bilateral maritime exercise SIMBEX continues to foster strong ties and cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy. With the participation of INS Ranvijay, INS Kavaratti, and a P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from the Indian Navy, alongside the warships and aircraft from the RSN, the exercise showcases the commitment of both nations to maintaining regional security and strengthening naval capabilities.

As the 30th edition of SIMBEX unfolds, the navies will engage in various drills and exercises, fostering professionalism and enhancing operational readiness. This exercise serves as a testament to the enduring partnership between India and Singapore, and it highlights the significance of naval cooperation in the region.

Through SIMBEX, both navies not only strengthen their operational capabilities but also deepen their friendship. As they navigate the challenges of the South China Sea and beyond, the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy continue to build trust and collaboration for a safer maritime environment.



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