The 25thedition of SIMBEX, an acronym for “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise” is scheduled from 10thto 21st November 2018 off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalised when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994.
Complementing India’s ‘Act-East’policy, there have been a number of agreements and high level visits in the recent past between the two countries.
Indo-Singapore bilateral relations have been on an upswing in the recent past.
Both countries have a full calendar of more than 20 bilateral mechanisms, dialogues and exercises, many of which take place annually.
In November 2015, the robust relationship between the two countries was elevated to ‘Strategic Partnership’.
In June this year, on the side-lines of the Shangrila Dialogue, Prime Minister NarendraModi and Prime Minister Lee HsienLoong of Singapore inked many agreements including those under the ‘Defence and Strategic Partnership Sectors’.
Key among them is the ‘Implementation Agreement between Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy concerning Mutual Coordination, Logistics and Services Support for Naval Ships’, Submarines and Naval Aircraft (including Ship borne Aviation Assets) visits.
The Implementation Agreement since coming in force has facilitated deployment of naval assets from bases of the other through logistics and services support.
Both sides agreed to undertake continuous and institutionalised naval engagements in their shared maritime space including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional / ASEAN partners.
The 2018 edition marks the Silver Jubilee of SIMBEX.
SIMBEX 2018 will be the largest edition since 1994 in terms of scale and complexity.