Andaman Sea Current Affairs
India and Singapore will hold 25th joint naval exercise SIMBEX, acronym for Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise from November 10 to 21 in India off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. SIMBEX 2018 will mark silver jubilee of exercise and will be largest edition since 1994 in terms of scale and complexity.
It will witness diverse range of exercises at sea such as live weapon drills including multiple missile firings, heavy weight torpedo (HWT) and medium range gun and 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.
The initial first harbour phase of the exercise will be held at Port Blair followed by Sea Phase in Andaman Sea. Second harbour phase will be held at Visakhapatnam. Final sea phase will be held in Bay of Bengal. The number of missiles and torpedo firings in this exercise will be largest ever undertaken by Indian Navy with any foreign Navy till date. It will also witness highest numbers and variety of platforms fielded by both sides.
Indian Navy for this exercise will be deploying Ranvir class destroyer — INS Ranvijay, two Project 17 multirole stealth frigates — INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, Project 28 ASW corvette — INS Kadmatt, Project 25A missile corvettes, INS Kirch, OPVs INS Sumedha and INS Sukanya, Fleet Support Ship, INS Shakti, Sindhughosh Class submarine, INS Sindhukirti, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol and ASW aircraft from INAS 312, Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol aircraft from INAS 311, Mk 132 Hawk AJTs from INAS 551 and integral helicopters such as the UH3H, Seaking 42 B, Seaking 42C and Chetak utility helicopters.
Singapore Navy will be deploying represented by two Formidable Class stealth frigates — RSS Formidable and RSS Steadfast, two Missile Corvettes, RSS Vigour and RSS Valiant, one Littoral Mission Vessel — RSS Unity, Archer class Submarine, RSS Swordsman, ‘Swift Rescue’ Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle (DSRV), Fokker F50 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, embarked S70B helicopters and Scan Eagle unmanned aerial systems.
The MILES-18, first-ever multi-nation naval exercise at sea was held at the Andaman sea. The three days exercise was conducted as part of 10th edition of MILAN 2018.
Milan 2018, a multi-national mega event was organised by Andaman Nicobar naval command with theme ‘Friendship Across the Seas’ to expand regional cooperation and combat unlawful activities in critical sea lanes.
11 naval ships of 8 countries (Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand) and nine Indian ships had participated in MILES-18. It was aimed to enhance inter-operability between participating countries. It also had enabled honing of search and rescue operations procedures, maritime interdiction operations, core operational skills and exercise and variety of maritime security scenarios.
Milan exercise was first held in 1995 with participation of just five navies. Its aim was to have effective forum to discuss common concerns in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and forge deeper cooperation among friendly navies. The exercise is being hosted biennially by Indian Navy under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command.