New Delhi: A two-day joint exercise between the navies of India, Singapore and Thailand entered its second day in the Andaman Sea on Sunday.
According to the Indian Navy, SITMEX-20 (India, Singapore and Thailand Trilateral Maritime Exercise) is being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ mission in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indian Navy’s home-grown assets anti-submarine warfare corvette Kamorta and missile corvette Karmuk are participating in this second edition of SITMEX-20.
Navy says that the exercise highlights the growing synergy, coordination and cooperation between the three nations in the maritime domain.
The two days of maritime drills will witness the three navies participate in a variety of exercises including naval manoeuvres, surface warfare exercises and weapon firings.
The SITMEX series aims to strengthen mutual confidence and develop a common understanding and procedures towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.
The missions are aimed at improving the interoperability between the three friendly navies.
The first edition of SITMEX, hosted by the Indian Navy, was conducted off Port Blair in September 2019.
During the maiden exercise last year, the Indian Navy was represented by guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvir, missile corvette INS Kora, Offshore Patrol Vessel Sumedha and maritime reconnaissance aircraft P81.
This year’s exercise is being hosted by the Singapore Navy (RSN).
RSN is being represented by the ‘Formidable’ Class frigate ‘Intrepid’ and ‘Endurance’ Class Landing Ship Tank ‘Endeavour.’
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is being represented by the ‘Chao Phraya’ Class frigate ‘Kraburi’ in the exercise.
With the Indian Navy adding several advanced assets to its fleet, SITMEX series of exercises will help boost interoperability and imbibe best practices.
SIMTEX comes just days after the Indian Navy concluded the 24th edition of Malabar maritime exercise in two phases in the Arabian Sea.
The Malabar Exercise saw Indian Navy, United States Navy (USN), Japan Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) undertaking several joint missions spread across in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea in two phases.
Phase 2 of Malabar 2020 saw active participation from the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, indigenous destroyers INS Kolkata and INS Chennai, stealth frigate INS Talwar, fleet support tanker INS Deepak, integral helicopters of these warships, indigenously built submarine Khanderi and maritime reconnaissance aircraft P8I and IL-38.