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Singapore and India hold joint naval exercises in South China Sea


On May 19, the navies of India and Singapore began their SIMBEX joint naval exercises in the South China Sea. This bilateral naval drill will be conducted until May 22.


Singapore and India hold joint naval exercises in South China Sea The INS Kolkata guided-missile destroyer (D63) of the Indian Navy docked at this Changi Naval Base during IMDEX 2019, Singapore (Picture Source: Navy Recognition)


On the Indian side, two vessels that have been on a two-month-long deployment to East Asia (notably taking part in the IMDEX 2019 exhibition in the Changi Naval Base in Singapore) are participating. INS Kolkata, the lead ship of the Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyer, and INS Shakti, a Deepak-class fleet tanker, participated in the exercise. “On successful completion of IMDEX 19, IN ships Kolkata and Shakti are continuing their stay at Singapore to participate in the annual Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise SIMBEX-2019,” the Indian Navy noted in a statement.

Singapore, meanwhile, was represented by RSN Steadfast, a Formidable-class frigate, and RSN Valiant, a Victory-class corvette. Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft and Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16 fighters also participated.

This year’s exercise will include a live-fire sea phase exercise, which will encompass a range of maritime combat drills, including “firing on aerial/surface targets, advanced aerial tracking, coordinated targeting exercises and tactical exercises on surface/air scenarios,” according to a statement released by the Indian Navy.

Last year, this exercise took place in the Indian Ocean, off India's Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Last year’s exercises also included a live-fire component and additionally featured anti-submarine warfare drills.