India, Singapore wrap up South China Sea drill

RSN and IN ships sailing in formation during SIMBEX. Photo: Mindef

The navies of Republic of Singapore and India concluded their bilateral maritime exercise SIMBEX on May 24.

Hosted by Singapore, the exercise started on May 24 at Changi Naval Base RSS Singapura with the at sea phase taking place in the South China Sea.

This year’s exercise was the 24th iteration of the annual bilateral exercise which has been held since 1994.

The RSN deployed frigates RSS Formidable and RSS Supreme and missile corvette RSS Victory, while the IN participated with frigates INS Sahyadri and INS Shivalik, corvette INS Kamorta, oiler INS Jyoti and a P8-I maritime patrol aircraft.

SIMBEX 2017 saw the inaugural participation of the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s F-15SG fighter aircraft. Aside from the two F-15SG fighter aircraft, the RSAF also deployed two F-16D+ fighter aircraft and a Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft for the exercise.

During the exercise, the two navies conducted a series of naval warfare serials, including air defence exercises and gunnery live-firings. The sea phase culminated in a mission-oriented surface action group exercise wherein assets and personnel from the two navies worked together to plan and execute a series of warfare missions.

Apart from SIMBEX, the two navies also interact regularly through professional exchange programmes, staff talks and training courses. INS Sahyadri and INS Kamorta joined in the RSN’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, participating in both the inaugural Singapore International Maritime Review at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base on 15 May 2017, and the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) Asia from 16 to 18 May 2017.

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