The 25th edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) has started at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India.

SIMBEX 2018 will be represented by several Indian Navy vessels, which include the Ranvir-class destroyer, INS Ranvijay, and two Project 17 multirole stealth frigates .

Other Indian Navy assets involved are Project 28 anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kadmatt and the Project 25A missile corvette INS Kirch, in addition to the P8I long-range maritime patrol and ASW aircraft,  Seaking 42C and Chetak utility helicopters.

Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) vessels participating in the exercise include two Formidable-class stealth frigates, RSS Formidable and RSS Steadfast, as well as a littoral mission vessel RSS Unity, and a deepsea rescue vehicle (DSRV) Swift Rescue.

The RSN will also be represented by a Fokker F50 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, S70B helicopters and Scan Eagle unmanned aerial systems.

“The exercise’s first sea phase is slated to be performed in the Andaman Sea, while the second sea phase will be in the Bay of Bengal.”

Being conducted until 21 November, SIMBEX 2018 will be carried out in two harbour phases at Port Blair and Visakhapatnam respectively, which will each be followed by a sea phase.

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The exercise’s first sea phase is slated to be performed in the Andaman Sea, while the second sea phase will be in the Bay of Bengal.

This year’s event will include a wide range of at-sea activities such as live-weapon drills including multiple missile firings, heavy-weight torpedo (HWT) and medium-range gun / anti-submarine rocket firings, and advanced ASW exercises.

It will also perform other submarine rescue demonstrations, integrated surface and anti-air warfare (AAW) missions, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations, and cross-deck helicopter flying.

Started as a basic ASW exercise in 1994, SIMBEX has now evolved to complex maritime combat drills, which include missile and torpedo firings and shore-based intensive professional exchanges.