India, Singapore conduct naval drill in South China Sea

The navies of India and Singapore conducted their bilateral naval drill in the South China Sea. The bilateral naval drill will be conducted till May 22. Indian Navy ships Kolkata and Shakti took part in the bilateral naval exercise with Singapore, along with long range maritime patrol aircraft Poseidon-8I (P8I). The Singapore side is to be represented by RSN ships Steadfast and Valiant, maritime patrol aircraft Fokker-50 (F-50) and F-16 fighter aircraft.

The exercise include various maritime combat exercises such as firing on aerial, surface targets, advanced aerial tracking, and coordinated targeting exercises and tactical exercises on surface, air scenarios.The bilateral exercise SIMBEX was started in 1993, has grown in tactical and operational complexities and progressed from a basic Anti-Submarine exercise to more complex Maritime exercise such as advanced air defence operations, anti-air, surface weapon firings and tactical exercises.

The forces of India and Singapore share robust military ties. The South China Sea waters, which are claimed by many littoral states, have been witnessing muscling in of the Chinese navy. Over the years SIMBEX has stood the test of time in demonstrating the nation’s commitment to enhance maritime cooperation between the two navies and bolster bonds of friendship between the two countries.

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