Indian Navy Current Affairs

India-Singapore ink Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation

India and Singapore have signed Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation that will allow Indian Navy ships logistical support, including refuelling at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base located near disputed South China Sea (SCS).

The agreement was announced during second Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and Singapore held in New Delhi.

Key Facts

The Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation will allow Indian Navy ships sailing through disputed SCS or in eastern waters of Andaman Sea to refuel, restock and if needed rearm at Singapore’s Changi naval base.  It will allow Indian Navy to directly engage with Singaporean authorities to use their facilities unlike present structure that take weeks if political clearances need to be obtained in Singapore.

Significance

The naval logistics agreement is first for India with country located east of strategically important Strait of Malacca. Singapore is strategically situated on major international sea routes – Straits of Singapore and Malacca – and connects Pacific and Indian Oceans making it economically important. It acts as centre for international communications, transportations and trade to southeast Asia. The nearest Indian base is in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The agreement looks at increased cooperation in maritime security, joint exercises, temporary deployment between India and Singapore. The Changi base will enhance Indian Navy’s operational reach. It will also play prominent role in protection of naval vessels, supplies, repair facilities, administration and logistics support. It will give boost to India’s Act East Policy and strengthen India’s role for safety, stability, regional peace and navigational freedom.

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IMMSAREX 2017: International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise held in Bangladesh

The 2017 International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) was held in Bangladesh from November 26 to 28 2017.

The exercise is taking place under the aegis of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). It was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.

Key Facts

From India, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba participated in the exercise to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. Indian Naval Ships (INS) Ranvir, Sahyadri, Gharial and Sukanya along with one Maritime Patrol Aircraft P-8I participatied in the exercise.

Extraordinary Conclave of Chiefs (ECoC)’ meeting of IONS was also held. It focussed upon activities being undertaken by IONS in-addition to review progress made by three IONS Working Group (IWG)- Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR), Maritime Security and Information Exchange and Interoperability. The ships and aircraft of IONS members and observers including China (has observer status) and Pakistan also participated in exercise.

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

The IONS is regional forum of Indian Ocean littoral states launched by India Navy in February 2008. It is voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of littoral states of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.

It endeavours to generate flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on way ahead. There are 35 members – navies of IONS represented by heads of their navies. Under IONS charter of business adopted in 2014, the forum has working groups on HADR, IS&I and maritime security (anti-piracy).

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