Singapore, Indian navies taking part in joint battle exercises in South China Sea

Republic of Singapore Navy and Indian Navy personnel conducting professional sharing for the conduct of aviation operations on board RSS Stalwart. - MINDEF

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Sailors from the Singapore and Indian navies are embarking on a week-long bilateral maritime exercise in the southern parts of the South China Sea from Thursday (Sept 21).

Warships from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) taking part in the exercise include the two Formidable-class frigates RSS Stalwart and RSS Tenacious.

Both warships will be accompanied by an S-70B naval helicopter and the Victory-class missile corvette RSS Valour, said the Defence Ministry (Mindef) in a statement.

From the Indian Navy, the Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay, Kamorta-class corvette INS Kavaratti, and a P-8I maritime patrol aircraft will be deployed.

And for the first time, both navies will deploy a submarine in the exercise, known as Simbex.

RSN Fleet Commander Kwan Hon Chuong said Simbex stands as a shining testament to the enduring partnership between both navies.

He said: “Over the course of three decades, this exercise has evolved from its modest inception into a robust platform that not only strengthens our operational capabilities but also nurtures the bonds of friendship connecting our sailors.”

Colonel Kwan added that regular professional exchanges and exercises like Simbex enable both navies continue to learn from each other and work better together at sea.

Simbex, which marks its 30th outing this year, is conducted in two phases. The land phase of the exercise will involve table-top exercises and planning discussions, while the sea phase will see the navies engage in various naval drills, including anti-submarine warfare and live weapon firing.

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