Record number of military vessels to be involved in this year's Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise

SINGAPORE – A record number of military hardware – aircraft, ships and submarines – are participating in this year’s maritime bilateral exercise between the Singapore and Indian navies, the Ministry of Defence said on Saturday (Nov 10).

Now in its 25th year, the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (Simbex) will feature about 30 participating air, sea and underwater assets from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Indian Navy in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

The exercise, which starts from Saturday until Nov 21, will see sailors from both navies train together in live firing exercises and naval warfare drills. Senior navy officers from Singapore and India will also make official calls to the other side.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen will visit Simbex on Nov 20 too, said Mindef.

He will also be co-chairing the 3rd India-Singapore Defence Ministers’ Dialogue with India’s Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman on the previous day (Nov 19).

Both ministers will also witness the exchange of a renewed Army bilateral agreement, a long-term deal which allows joint exercises and training between both armies.

The army agreement was last renewed in 2013, while the bilateral navy and air force agreements were exchanged last year (2017).

This year’s Simbex will feature anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare exercise scenarios, growing in scope and complexity from the first Simbex in 1994, which focused on anti-submarine warfare, said Mindef.

It was in the exercise in 2003 when the RSN became the first South-east Asian navy to successfully fire a torpedo against a moving submarine.

“Since the first exercise in 1994, the RSN has enhanced its capability in anti-submarine warfare with the deployment of a range of assets with anti-submarine capabilities, such as the missile corvettes, anti-submarine patrol vessels, frigates, submarines, and naval air assets,” said Mindef.

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