On successful completion of IMDEX 2019, 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 2019.
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 2019, the IN has deployed its finest assets 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-2019 conducted from 16 May to 18 May 2019 included 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 is scheduled to be conducted in the South China Sea from 19 May to 22 May 2019 which includes 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 the RSN ships Steadfast and Valiant, maritime patrol aircraft Fokker-50 (F-50) and F-16 fighter aircraft.
SIMBEX-2019 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 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”.