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India, Singapore, Thailand Naval Forces Engaged In Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX-20

New Delhi: Indian Navy along with Naval forces of Singapore, and Thailand is engaged in a trilateral maritime exercise ‘SITMEX-20’ in the Andaman Sea. With this exercise, India aims to strengthen mutual confidence and develop common understanding and procedures towards enhancing overall maritime security in the region.

As part of the second edition of the exercise, Indian Navy ships, including indigenously built anti-submarine warfare corvette Kamorta, and missile corvette Karmuk, are participating. The two-day exercise began on Saturday, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

The first edition of SITMEX, hosted by the Indian Navy, was conducted off Port Blair in September 2019.

The SITMEX exercises are conducted to enhance mutual inter-operability and imbibing best practices between the Indian Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), and Royal Thai Navy (RTN). The 2020 edition of the exercise is hosted by RSN.

RSN is represented by the ‘Formidable’ Class frigate ‘Intrepid’ and ‘Endurance’ Class Landing Ship Tank ‘Endeavour’ and RTN by the ‘Chao Phraya’ Class frigate ‘Kraburi’ in the exercise.

The exercise, conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of COVID-19 pandemic, highlights growing synergy, coordination and cooperation in the maritime domain between the three navies and maritime neighbours.

The two days of maritime drills will witness the three navies participate in a variety of exercises, including naval manoeuvres, surface warfare exercises and weapons’ firing.

Earlier on Friday, the navies of India, Australia, Japan and the US concluded the second phase of the Malabar naval exercise in the Arabian Sea on Friday. The naval exercise involved two aircraft carriers and a number of frontline warships, submarines and maritime aircraft.

While the first phase of the 24th edition of the Malabar exercise was conducted in Bay of Bengal from November 3-6, the second phase was conducted in the Arabian Sea from November 17-20.

The major highlight of the four-day second-phase exercise was participation of Indian Navy‘s Vikramaditya carrier battle group and the Nimitz strike group of the US Navy.

(With IANS Inputs)

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