"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," said Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen during his visit to the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) on 20 Nov.
This year's SIMBEX, which started on 10 Nov, saw the largest participation from both navies, with close to 30 participating assets. It was conducted in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
During his visit, Dr Ng witnessed the conduct of multi-dimensional naval warfare by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Indian Navy (IN) ships, in particular the combined missile firing of an Aster missile from the RSN's Formidable-class frigate RSS Steadfast and a Barak missile by the IN's Shivalik-class frigate INS Satpura.
At its 25th year, SIMBEX is the longest-running military exercise that the Singapore Armed Forces has with the Indian Armed Forces. Starting as an anti-submarine exercise in 1994, SIMBEX has grown in scope and complexity and now incorporates elements of maritime security, anti-air, and anti-surface naval warfare.
"I think most importantly, (this exercise) reflected the deep trust between the Indian Navy and our Republic of Singapore Navy. This is a relationship that has been cultivated over the years," Dr Ng said in an interview after his visit to SIMBEX.
As part of his three-day trip to India, Dr Ng visited the IN's facilities at Port Blair on 19 Nov and met the Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Admiral (ADM) (Ret) Devendra Kumar Joshi. He will also co-chair the third India-Singapore Defence Ministers' Dialogue with Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.