The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Indian Navy (IN) will conduct the Singapore-India Bilateral Maritime Exercise (SIMBEX) from 21 to 28 September 2023. SIMBEX 2023 comprises a land-based phase ( 21 to 24 September) held at RSS Singapore – Changi Naval Base, and an at-sea phase (25 to 28 September) in the southern part of the South China Sea within international waters.
This year’s exercise commemorates the 30th edition of SIMBEX. Participating RSN assets include two Formidable-class frigates RSS Stalwart and RSS Tenacious, both embarked with an S-70B naval helicopter, and one Victory-class missile corvette RSS Valor.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is also participating in the exercise with one Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft and four F-15SG fighter jets. Participating on behalf of the IN are a Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay, a Kamorta-class corvette INS Kavaratti and a P-8I maritime patrol aircraft of the Indian Navy. For the first time, both navies will also deploy one submarine each for the exercise.
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At the opening ceremony on 21 September, RSN Fleet Commander Colonel (COL) Kwan Hon Chuong and IN Eastern Naval Command Commander-in-Chief Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar unveiled the commemorative logo of the 30th edition of the exercise.
Colonel Kwan also highlighted the importance of the exercise in improving professionalism between both navies. He said: “SIMBEX is a brilliant testament to the long-standing partnership between the IN and the RSN. Over three decades, this exercise has evolved from its modest beginnings to become a robust platform that not only strengthens our operational capabilities, but also nurtures the bonds of friendship that unite our sailors.”
SIMBEX is a shining testament to the long-standing partnership between the Republic of Singapore Navy and the Indian Navy
During the land phase, sailors from both navies will carry out joint planning, professional exchanges and sports activities. A joint submarine rescue standard operating procedures (JSOP) document will also be signed between both navies. At sea, both navies will carry out a series of naval exercises in the air, surface and submarine domains, including gunnery, anti-aircraft defense, anti-submarine, communications and maneuver exercises. The exercise will conclude with a sailing parade of the participating ships.
SIMBEX, which was first held in 1994, has grown in both scope and complexity over the years, expanding beyond conventional naval warfare to include elements of maritime security. Apart from SIMBEX, the two navies regularly interact through a series of activities, such as professional exchanges, personnel talks and training courses.