Visakhapatnam: As a part of ‘SIMBEX-16’, the ongoing Bilateral Naval Exercise between Navies of the Republic of Singapore and India, RSS Formidable of Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) arrived Visakhapatnam on a five-day visit to the Eastern Naval Command on Sunday.
Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, RSS Formidable is the first of the six multi-role stealth frigates, which forms part of the 185 Squadron based at Changi. A senior Singapore Navy delegation headed by Colonel Aaron Beng, Commanding Officer, 185 Squadron, RSN, is also visiting ENC during the period.
The visit will encompass interaction between personnel of both the Navies in various professional, cultural, social and sports events.
Colonel Aaron Beng and Lieutenant Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, Commanding Officer, RSS Formidable, will call-on Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief ENC and Rear Admiral B Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises (SIMBEX) was first formalised when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994. This year’s edition of SIMBEX-16 being held in the Bay of Bengal region would be the 23rd in the series and is aimed at increasing interoperability among the RSN and IN as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.
The exercise includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase scheduled from October 31 to November 2 and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase to be held from November 3 to 5. The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Integrated Operations with Surface, Air and Sub-surface forces, Air Defence and Surface Encounter Exercises.
During SIMBEX-16, the Singapore Navy is represented by RSS Formidable and Maritime Patrol Aircraft Fokker 50 operating from Port Blair. The Indian Navy will be represented by INS Ranvijay, a guided missile destroyer, INS Kamorta, an indigenous ASW stealth Corvette, one Sindhugosh class submarine, in addition to Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I, Maritime Patrol Aircraft Dornier, Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk and integral rotary wing helicopters are also scheduled to participate in the exercise.
The two navies share a long-standing relationship with regular professional interactions that include exchange programmes, staff talks and training courses. Singapore Chief of Naval Staff had earlier visited ENC and participated in IFR-16 held in February this year in the city. RSS Formidable is scheduled to leave Visakhapatnam on Thursday.