India and Singapore begin exercises at sea

The 25th edition of the India-Singapore bilateral naval exercise, SIMBEX, began at Inter-Service Command in Port Blair.

The exercise, which began Saturday off the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, will end on November 21.

"Launched as a basic anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise in 1994, these exercises have now taken the form of complex maritime combat exercises, including missile and torpedo firing, and intensive professional exchange ashore, "said the Navy in a statement.

12 ships to join exercises

Seven Indian Navy vessels and five Singapore Navy vessels as well as an Archer class submarine and a deep immersion rescue vehicle will participate in the exercise.

Maritime patrol aircraft from both countries, the Indian Navy P8I and the Singapore Fokker F50, will also participate.

The number of missiles and torpedoes being fired is in fact unprecedented and perhaps the most important that the Indian Navy has ever undertaken with a foreign navy to date, the Navy added.

Logistic support

Both countries have significantly expanded their military cooperation in recent years under the Indian Act Act. At the end of last year, the two countries signed a naval agreement that provides for mutual logistical support and gives India access to Changi Naval Base.

India and Singapore are working on a trilateral exercise with a country from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), most likely Thailand, and are considering the possibility of lil intensify in the multilateral format.