Source: News Bharati English19 May 2017 11:55:24

New Delhi, May 19: Concerning about the presence of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean, and on the growing presence of China in the international waters, India and Singapore began with a week-long naval exercise in the South China Sea on Thursday.

It is a bilateral exercise between the navies of India and Singapore named Simbex-17 (Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises). Four Indian ships participating in the weeklong exercise are Shivalik, Sahyadri, Jyoti and Kamorta besides one P8-I, a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

INS Sahyadri and INS Kamorta are already in Singapore since 12 May 2017, INS Shivalik and INS Jyoti would be joining directly for the sea phase of the exercise. While the Singapore Navy ship Supreme, Formidable and Victory and Maritime Patrol Aircraft Fokker F50 in addition to the RSAF F-16 aircraft to be the part of this naval exercise.

The Harbour Phase scheduled from 18 May to 20 May and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase to be held from 21 May to 24 May and the scope of the current exercise include wide-ranging professional interactions.

The main aim of the Simbex is to increase interoperability between the Indian and Singaporean navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), integrated operations with Surface, Air and Sub-surface forces, Air Defence and Surface Encounter Exercises.

INS Sahyadri, and INS Shivalik-both multi-role stealth frigates - are commanded by Captain Anil Jaggi and Captain R Vinod Kumar respectively while INS Kamorta, an Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette is commanded by Commander Vipin Gupta. lNS Jyoti, the fleet replenishment tanker is commanded by Captain S Shyam Sundar.

As like Simbex for Singapore and India, Navy exercise with 11 other countries is Malabar with USA and Japan, Indra of Russia, Varuna of France, Konkan of US, Jimex (Japan), Slinex (Sri Lanka), Ibsamar (South Africa and Brazil), and Ausindex with Australia and Indonesia.

SIMBEX is a bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalized when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994. This year’s edition of SIMBEX-17 being held in the South China Sea would be the 24th in the series and is aimed to increase interoperability between the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Indian Navy as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.