The annual Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX), conducted by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Indian Navy (IN) from 26 to 30 October 2022, has concluded successfully. This year’s exercise involved a shore phase held in Visakhapatnam, India followed by a sea phase held in the waters off Visakhapatnam and in the Bay of Bengal. This year also marked the first physical bilateral exercise between the two navies since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The RSN deployed a Formidable-class frigate RSS Stalwart with an embarked S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter, and a Victory-class missile corvette RSS Vigilance. The IN participated with a Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay, a Kamorta-class corvette INS Kavaratti with an embarked Alouette III helicopter, a kilo-class submarine, P-8I and Dornier maritime patrol aircrafts, as well as Hawk-132 fighter aircrafts. During the exercise, the two navies conducted gunnery firings, replenishment-at-sea approaches, as well as naval warfare serials in the air, surface and underwater domains, before concluding with a sail-past of all the participating ships.
The successful conduct of SIMBEX 2022 underscores the strong and long-standing defence ties between both navies. Commanding Officer of RSS Stalwart, Lieutenant Colonel Goh Zi Jin Eric said, “The exercise serves as a valuable platform and opportunity for us to work and learn from one another, hone our competencies, and also strengthen the close bonds and mutual understanding between the RSN and IN.”
Over the years, SIMBEX has grown both in scope and complexity, expanding beyond conventional naval warfare to include elements of maritime security. Apart from SIMBEX, the two navies interact regularly through a range of activities, including professional exchanges, staff talks, and training courses.