- The 25th edition of SIMBEX, an acronym for “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise” is scheduled from 10th to 21st November 2018 off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalised when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994.
- What began as a modest endeavour to exchange best practices in the field of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), has in the recent years evolved into a complex high stakes exercise with both nations attaching premium in terms of time, complex advanced exercises and type of platforms involved.
- The 2018 edition marks the Silver Jubilee of SIMBEX.
- SIMBEX 2018 will be the largest edition since 1994 in terms of scale and complexity. The initial harbour phase will be held at Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The 25th edition will witness a diverse range of exercises at sea ranging from live weapon drills including multiple missile firings, Heavy Weight Torpedo (HWT) and Medium Range Gun/ Anti Submarine Rocket firings; advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercises, Submarine Rescue demonstrations; integrated Surface and Anti-Air Warfare (AAW); Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operations and Cross Deck Helicopter flying among others.
India’s ‘Act-East’ policy:
- Complementing India’s ‘Act-East’ policy, there have been a number of agreements and high level visits in the recent past between the two countries. Indo-Singapore bilateral relations have been on an upswing in the recent past.
- Both countries have a full calendar of more than 20 bilateral mechanisms, dialogues and exercises, many of which take place annually. In November 2015, the robust relationship between the two countries was elevated to ‘Strategic Partnership’.