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Indian warships take part in naval exercise

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INS Kamorta, the latest indigenous anti-submarine warfare corvette, is one of the warships taking part in the naval drill. An Indian Navy photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Navy has dispatched four vessels, including a destroyer and a stealth frigate, on a long overseas deployment to Indian Ocean and South China Sea during which they will make port calls in various countries, including Australia and Cambodia.

As part of this deployment, a four-day bilateral naval exercise began Saturday with Singapore in which INS Satpura, an indigenously-built guided missile stealth frigate, and INS Kamorta, the latest indigenous anti-submarine warfare corvette, are taking part.

Naval sources said that the Eastern Fleet's deployment, led by Rear Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, will see the vessels -- which also include guided missile destroyer INS Ranvir and fleet tanker INS Shakti -- make port calls in Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

The present deployment is part of a regular exercise conducted to make port calls in friendly countries, the sources said.

"Every year such port calls are made to fly our Indian flags in friendly countries and to showcase what the Indian Navy is all about. Our ships regularly use the routes in South China Sea to reach countries situated in that region," the sources added.

INS Satpura and Kamorta had reached Singapore on May 18 and participated in IMDEX-15, a maritime defence show. They are now taking part in the bilateral naval exercise, SIMBEX-15, with Singapore Navy from May 23-26, Indian Navy said in a statement here.

Operational interaction between the two navies commenced with Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training exercises in 1994, which has grown steadily over the past 20 years.

The operational interaction was formalised as an annual bilateral exercise, 'SIMBEX', in 1999. Since its inception, SIMBEX has grown in tactical and operational complexity, the official statement said.

It has transcended the traditional emphasis on ASW to more complex maritime exercises involving various facets of naval operations such as air defence, air and surface practice firing, maritime security and search and rescue.

This year, Singaporean ship Supreme and submarine Archer along with Maritime Patrol Aircraft and fighter aircraft are participating from the Singaporean side whilst Indian Navy is represented by INS Satpura, INS Kamorta and Long-Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine (LRMRASW) aircraft P-8I.

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