The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Indian Navy (IN) are conducting the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) from 21 to 28 September 2023. SIMBEX 2023 comprises a shore phase (21 to 24 September) held at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base, and a sea phase (25 to 28 September) in the southern reaches of the South China Sea within international waters.

This year’s exercise commemorates the 30th edition of SIMBEX. The participating assets from the RSN include two Formidable-class frigates RSS Stalwart and RSS Tenacious, both embarked with an S-70B naval helicopter, and a Victory-class missile corvette RSS Valour. The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is also participating in the exercise with a Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft and four F-15SG fighter aircraft. The participating assets from the IN include a Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay, a Kamorta-class corvette INS Kavaratti, and a P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from the Indian Navy. For the first time, both navies are also deploying a submarine each for the exercise.

At the opening ceremony earlier today, the RSN’s Fleet Commander Colonel (COL) Kwan Hon Chuong and the IN’s Commodore Submarine Operations, Commodore Sumeet Singh Sodhi unveiled the 30th edition exercise commemorative logo. COL Kwan also highlighted the importance of the exercise in enhancing professionalism between both navies. He said, “SIMBEX stands as a shining testament to the enduring partnership between the IN and RSN. Over the course of three decades, this exercise has evolved from its modest inception into a robust platform that not only strengthens our operational capabilities but also nurtures the bonds of friendship connecting our sailors.”

During the shore phase, sailors from both navies will conduct joint planning, professional exchanges, and sports activities. There will also be the signing of a submarine rescue joint standard operating procedures (JSOP) document between both navies. At sea, both navies will conduct a series of naval serials in the air, surface and underwater domains, including gunnery firing, air defense, anti-submarine, communication and maneuvering exercises. The exercise will conclude with a sail-past of participating ships.

First held in 1994, SIMBEX has grown both in scope and complexity over the years, 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.