A trilateral naval exercise involving India, Singapore and Thailand commenced in the Andaman Sea on Saturday.
The two-day long exercise, SITMEX-2020, is scheduled in a “non-contact, at sea only format”, in wake of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The primary aim of the exercise is to further consolidate interoperability between the three navies and also enhance understanding, sharing best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations.
This edition of the exercise would involve a war-at-sea exercise, naval manoeuvres, weapon firing on the surface and aerial targets, seamanship evolutions, and coordinated navigation operations.
The Indian Navy is represented by two indigenous warships — an ASW corvette, INS Kamorta, and a guided Missile corvette, INS Karmuk. The force would also include the ships’ integral air assets.
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is represented by RSS Intrepid, a formidable class stealth frigate, and RSS Endeavour, an Endurance class landing platform dock. The Thailand Navy is being represented by HTMS Kraburi, a Chao Phraya class frigate.
The exercise despite the challenging times posed by the pandemic is a direct testimony to India’s long-standing friendship with Singapore and Thailand with special emphasis on strong military cooperation in the Maritime domain.
The exercise is envisaged to see greater cooperation in the coming years with the participation of advanced platforms in complex exercises spanning over the entire spectrum of warfare at sea.
On conclusion of SITMEx 2020, participating ships from RSN will exercise with the Indian Navy as part of SIMBEX 20, in the Bay of Bengal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his keynote address at Shangri-La Dialogue in June 2018, announced the conduct of a trilateral naval exercise between India, Singapore, and Thailand.
The maiden edition of the exercise was conducted off Andaman and Nicobar Islands in September 2019 with the harbour phase conducted at Port Blair and a sea phase in the Andaman Sea spanning over five days.