The Singaporean Armed Forces (SAF) and the US Navy have begun the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2011 exercise.

The CARAT 2011 exercise will, for the first time, witness the participation of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Sikorsky S-70B naval helicopters along with the SAF.

The drills also involve four ships, a submarine and 16 aircraft from the SAF and three ships, two naval helicopters and two maritime patrol aircraft from the US Navy.

The CARAT 2011, which includes 1,400 personnel from both countries, will focus on enhancing anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare (ASW), as well as maritime air capabilities.

Initiated in 1995, the annual bilateral maritime exercise aims to improve interoperability and professional cooperation between both the countries.