The annual Indo-Singapore naval exercise SIMBEX (Singapore Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise) is to begin from Saturday in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The exercise, to be held from April 03 to April 16, will be the 17th such drill and will include participation by the Indian Navy’s INS Batti Malv (Fast Attack Craft) and INS Mahish (Landing Ship Tank) from the Andaman & Nicobar Command, and INS Ranvir (Destroyer), INS Jyoti (Tanker) and a submarine from the Eastern Fleet, in addition to fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.
A statement by the Indian Navy says, “The Republic of Singapore Navy is participating with RSS Intrepid (Formidable Class frigate) and RSS Victory (Victory class missile corvette). The RSN ships would also be making port calls at Port Blair and Visakhapatnam during the exercise.”
These exercises began in 1994 when ‘RSN ships began training in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) with the Indian Navy’. The Indian Navy says, “The exercises have graduated from purely training-oriented ASW exercises to complex exercises, involving multiple facets of operations at sea. Successive editions of SIMBEX have progressively incorporated a wider range of sea going serials, ranging from platform specific exercises in Damage control and Fire fighting, through ‘Visit, Board, Search and Seizure’ procedures, all the way to complex three dimensional threat scenarios involving air surface and sub-surface threats.”
With these regular drills the Indian Navy says standard operating procedures are well in place on both the sides.