The Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) have conducted the annual Singapore-Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) in India.

SIMBEX 2016 is the 23rd iteration of the annual bilateral exercise held since 1994 to boost defence ties between the two nations.

RSN 185 Squadron commanding officer colonel Aaron Beng said: "This exercise will strengthen the strong and long-standing bonds between our two navies, enhancing interoperability as well as mutual understanding and trust between our sailors.”

"This exercise will strengthen the strong and long-standing bonds between our two navies."

The Indian Navy’s destroyer, INS Ranvijay embarked with an Alouette III helicopter, a corvette (INS Kamorta), a Kilo-class submarine, two Hawk aircraft, and two maritime patrol aircraft participated alongside RSN’s stealth frigate, RSS Formidable and a Republic of Singapore Air Force Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft.

The exercise involved a series of naval warfare events, such as air defence exercises, anti-submarine exercises and gunnery live-firings.

The land phase of SIMBEX 2016 was held at the Visakhapatnam Naval Base in India, while the sea phase was held in the Bay of Bengal.

Over the years, SIMBEX has expanded its scope beyond anti-submarine warfare missions to add elements of maritime security, anti-air and anti-surface warfare operations.

Apart from SIMBEX, the two navies also cooperate on a range of activities, including professional exchange programmes, staff talks and training courses.

Image: RSN's RSS Formidable sailing with the Indian Navy during SIMBEX. Photo: courtesy of MINDEF.