India and Singapore have commenced an annual joint naval exercise off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and in the Bay of Bengal.

The two-week exercise, from 3-16 April, codenamed SIMBEX (Singapore Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise) will be carried out in two separate theatres, initially in the Andaman Sea and then in the Bay of Bengal.

An Indian Navy official said the exercises have graduated from purely training-oriented anti-submarine warfare exercises to complex exercises involving multiple facets of operations at sea.

The Indian Navy’s Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvir, the landing ship tank INS Mahish, the patrol craft INS Batti Malv, the tanker INS Jyoti and a submarine from the Eastern Fleet are participating in the exercise.

The Singapore Navy is fielding its Formidable-class multi-role stealth frigate RSS Intrepid and the missile corvette RSS Victory.

The two ships will make port calls at Port Blair on South Andaman Island and Visakhapatnam in India during the exercise.

Having started in 1994, SIMBEX 2010 is the 17th iteration India-Singapore naval cooperation.