INDIA. Mumbai: India and Singapore carried out a naval wargame in the southern fringes of the South China Sea as part of the 28 th edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX-2021), in reflection of their congruence of interests in the strategically key region.
The exercise which began on September 02 was concluded on September 04, in which a sizable number of ships from both navies participated and exhibited their skills.
The Indian Navy was represented by Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvijay with a shipborne helicopter, ASW Corvette INS Kiltan, and Guided Missile Corvette INS Kora, and one P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
Participants from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) included one Formidable Class Frigate, RSS Steadfast, embarked with an S-70B naval helicopter, one Victory Class Missile Corvette, RSS Vigour, one Archer Class Submarine, and one Fokker-50 Maritime Patrol Aircraft. Four F-16 fighter aircraft of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) also participated in the exercise during the Air Defence Drills.
Initiated in 1994, SIMBEX is the Indian Navy’s longest uninterrupted bilateral maritime exercise with any foreign navy. Sustaining the continuity of this significant engagement despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic further underscores the strength of bilateral defence ties between both countries.
Despite the constraints during the planning stages, both navies could achieve seamless and safe execution of several challenging evolutions including live weapon firing and advanced naval warfare serials, including anti-submarine, anti-air, and anti-surface warfare drills. The scale and complexity of the drills are ample testimony to the interoperability achieved between both Navies.
This year’s edition of SIMBEX was a special occasion since it took place during the ongoing celebrations of the 75th year of India’s independence. The success of SIMBEX-2021 is yet another demonstration of the mutual resolve on both sides to strengthen the bilateral partnership further in the years ahead. Owing to the ongoing pandemic-related constraints, this year’s SIMBEX was planned without any physical interactions as an ‘at-sea only’ exercise hosted by the RSN in the southern fringes of the South China Sea.
INS Tabar visits Alexandria
In another development, as part of her ongoing overseas deployment, INS Tabar entered Alexandria harbour in Egypt on Friday. The ship was received by officials from the Egyptian Navy and the Indian Defence Attache.
Ambassador of India to Egypt Ajit Gupte paid a visit to the ship and was provided a walk around and briefing on activities related to the ship’s deployment. Later, in the evening, a reception was hosted onboard, for which Commander of Alexandria Naval Base, Rear Admiral Ayman al-Daly, was the Chief Guest. The event was attended by several senior officers from the Egyptian Navy, the Alexandria government, and a large number from the Indian diaspora. Besides Commanding Officers and officers of Hellenic Navy ships Hydra and Lesbos and Cyprus Navy ship Andreas Loannides, which are visiting Alexandria for Exercise Bright Star with Egypt, were also present for the reception.