12:36 GMT01 April 2020
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    India has begun advanced bilateral naval exercise with Singapore in the South China Sea on Thursday. The contingent has four warships, one maritime patrol and anti-submarine craft.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) The Indian ships, Shivalik, Sahyadri, Jyoti and Kamorta, as well as a P8-I maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft will be joined by Republic of Singapore Navy ships Supreme, Formidable, Victory and maritime patrol aircraft Fokker F50 in addition to the Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16 aircraft.

    Shivalik and Sahayadri are multi-role stealth frigates fitted with Klub anti-ship missile and land attack version of Brahmos missile. INS Kamorta is an anti-submarine warfare corvette while Jyoti is the fleet replenishment tanker of the Indian Navy.

    “This year’s edition of SIMBEX-17 being held in the South China Sea would be the 24th in the series and is aimed to increase interoperability between the Republic of Singapore Navy and Indian Navy as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. 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 defense and surface encounter exercises,” an Indian Navy statement said.

    The current exercise will end on May 24.

    Meanwhile, Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba concluded his five-day visit to Singapore where he met a number of Singaporean defense officials, including the defense minister, chief of defense forces, and navy chief. An Indian Navy statement said the visit “aims to consolidate existing maritime cooperation initiatives as well as explore new avenues”.

    Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalized when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994.

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