Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen visited the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) today on the occasion of its Silver Jubilee.
Dr Ng, accompanied by Singapore Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong and Indian Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (ADM) Sunil Lanba, witnessed the conduct of multi-dimensional naval warfare by both navies, in particular the firing of an Aster missile from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s Formidable-class frigate RSS Steadfast and a Barak missile by the Indian Navy (IN)'s Shivalik-class frigate INS Satpura.
Dr Ng said that the exercise was testament to the strong and long-standing naval relations between Singapore and India. "This exercise has been hugely successful…the fact that our missiles have hit their targets, gives us great confidence and this interoperability, this ability to work with one another and to learn from one another, is valuable. But not as priceless as the trust we share, as beliefs in common good and what we are achieving together," he said.
This year's SIMBEX is conducted from 10 to 21 November 2018 in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, with close to 30 participating assets from the RSN and IN. This is the largest number of assets from both navies thus far.
SIMBEX started in 1994 and this year marks 25 years of SIMBEX. Over the years, SIMBEX has grown in scope and complexity, expanding beyond its traditional emphasis on anti-submarine warfare to incorporate elements of maritime security, anti-air, and anti-surface warfare. Apart from SIMBEX, the Singapore and Indian navies interact regularly through a range of activities, including professional exchanges, staff talks, and training courses.
As part of his visit, Dr Ng also visited Port Blair yesterday, where he was briefed on the IN facilities by Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command Vice Admiral Bimal Verma. Dr Ng also met with Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands ADM (Ret) Devendra Kumar Joshi.