Indian, Singapore navies to start SIMBEX 2018

Illustration. INS Ranvijaj in Srikakulam. Photo: Indian Navy

The 25th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) will be held off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal from November 10 to 21, 2018.

The 2018 edition marks the Silver Jubilee of SIMBEX. To mark the historical occasion, both navies are undertaking drills over extended geographical scope, according to Indian defense ministry.

This year, the Indian Navy is being represented by the Ranvir class destroyer – INS Ranvijay, two Project 17 multirole stealth frigates – INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, the Project 28 ASW corvette – INS Kadmatt the Project 25A missile corvettes, INS Kirch, the OPVs INS Sumedha and INS Sukanya, the Fleet Support Ship, INS Shakti, a Sindhughosh Class submarine, INS Sindhukirti, aircraft and helicopters.

The Republic of Singapore Navy is being represented by two Formidable Class stealth frigates – RSS Formidable and RSS Steadfast, one Littoral Mission Vessel – RSS Unity, two Missile Corvettes, RSS Vigour and RSS Valiant, an Archer class Submarine, RSS Swordsman, ‘Swift Rescue’ a Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle (DSRV), aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial systems.

SIMBEX 2018 will be the largest edition since 1994 in terms of scale and complexity. The initial harbour phase will be held at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands from November 10 to 12 followed by sea phase from November 12 to 16 in the Andaman Sea.

The second harbour phase from November 16 to 19 will be held at Visakhapatnam. Additionally, the final sea phase would be held in the Bay of Bengal from November 19 to 21.

As explained, the 25th edition will witness a diverse range of exercises at sea. The number of missiles and torpedo firings may be the largest the Indian Navy has undertaken with any foreign navy till date. This year would also witness the highest numbers and variety of platforms fielded by both sides, the Indian Navy said.

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