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Indian Navy to hold maritime exercise with Singapore Navy to enhance operability

A PTI photo

SINGAPORE (PTI): The Indian Navy is looking forward to further enhancing its operability with the Singapore Navy and understanding of each other’s operational philosophy by holding joint maritime exercises, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet Read Admiral Rajesh Dhankhar has said.

Addressing a reception for 150 guests from Singapore's defence sector, heads of diplomatic missions and Indian diaspora on board INS Shakti at the Changi Naval Base on Tuesday, he said the navies of the two countries are planning to hold the 31st edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) which will be held at Visakhapatnam in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We will be undertaking the 31 Edition of SIMBEX (and) we have done the planning at the working level for the event to be held in the fourth quarter of this year at Visakhapatnam,” said Dhankhar who is leading the Indian Naval Ships Delhi, INS Shakti, and Kiltan to Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

“We look forward to further enhancing our operability and understanding of each other’s operational philosophy and also increasing the competency of our bilateral exercise in keeping with the times that we are witnessing,” said Dhankhar who in the past had been associated with a two-year training programme for the Singapore Navy.

“Our current deployment here and beyond is to visit friendly partner navies and share our experiences and knowledge that would enable us to be better informed in line with security and growth of all – as per India’s Sagar Doctrine,” said Dhankhar.

The fleet arrived in Singapore on Monday and will sail to Malaysia on Thursday and then onwards visit the Philippines.

The Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, Dr Shilpak Ambule, elaborated on the Indian Navy's engagement in the region, particularly in Singapore, saying it has seen an outward trajectory which without doubt has gained from its well-founded construct and has kept evolving with passing times.

“The growing intensity of engagement is in confirmation with the changing paradigm and in maritime well as increasing the depth of our bilateral partnership with Singapore.

“This, in true sense, reminds us all of the quintessential need to collaborate for mutually beneficial cooperation and to tackle the real challenges of the maritime domain.”

He also highlighted India’s deep historical and cultural linkages with ASEAN countries which has been extended in the recent past with vibrant economic engagement.

“In the maritime domain, we follow the Sagar Doctrine – security and growth for all. We are happy that our naval ships are implementing the policy on the ground deployment in the region,” said the envoy.

He also underscored the long-standing robust bilateral ties between the Indian and Singapore Navies that have been developed through efforts over several decades.

“I am only confident that this relationship will grow stronger with the visits of Indian naval ships.”

The High Commissioner expressed deep appreciation on behalf of the Indians and all Indian Ocean partners to the Indian Navy for their stellar role in securing the vital sea lanes in the Red Sea to ensure the safety and security of our sailors and commercial ships so that the trade is not impacted.

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