On successful completion of IMDEX 19, IN ships Kolkata and Shakti are continuing their stay at Singapore to participate in the annual Singapore India Maritime Bilateral Exercise SIMBEX-2019 scheduled from 16 May to 22 May 19.
Since its inception in 1993, SIMBEX has grown in tactical and operational complexity. the annual bilateral exercise saw its progression from traditional anti-submarine exercises to more complex maritime exercises such as advanced air defence operations, anti-air/ surface practice firings, tactical exercises, etc. Over the years SIMBEX has stood the test of time in demonstrating the nation’s commitment to enhance maritime cooperation between the two navies and bolster bonds of friendship between the two countries. For SIMBEX 19, the IN has deployed its finest assets for with an aim to strengthen mutual trust, enhance interoperability, and build greater synergy to address common maritime concerns among both navies.
The harbour phase of SIMBEX-19 conducted from 16 May to 18 may include various planning conferences, simulator-based warfare training/ wargaming, courtesy calls to dignitaries of RSN navy, sporting events and deck reception onboard Kolkata. The sea phase of SIMBEX-2019 scheduled to be conducted in the South China Sea from 19 May to 22 May 19 will include various maritime combat exercises such as firing on aerial/ surface targets, advanced aerial tracking, coordinated targeting exercises and tactical exercises on surface/ air scenarios.
In addition to IN ships Kolkata and Shakti, long-range maritime patrol aircraft Poseidon-8I (P8I) will also participate in SIMBEX-2019. The Singapore side will be represented by RSN ships Steadfast and Valiant, maritime patrol aircraft Fokker-50 (F-50) and F-16 fighter aircraft.
SIMBEX 19 would also conclude the two-month-long deployment of IN ships Kolkata and Shakti to South and East China Seas which is aimed at extending the bridges of friendship through enhanced cultural, economic and maritime interactions with countries of east and south-east Asia. IN ships’ participation in International Fleet Review (IFR) at Qingdao, China as part of PLA (Navy) 70th-anniversary celebrations and ADMM-plus MS FTX also reflects the government of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and the Indian Navy’s efforts to “unite nations through the oceans”.