Sitmex -2020: India, Singapore and Thailand navies launch exercise in the Andaman Sea

The second version of the tripartite maritime exercise between the Indian, Singapore and Thailand navies was launched yesterday at the Sitmex-2020 in the Andaman Sea. In view of the COVID-19 restrictions, a two-day-long exercise is scheduled in a contactless, sea-only format.

The primary objective of the exercise is to further strengthen the distinction between the three navies and increase understanding by sharing best practices and procedures for multidimensional maritime operations. This version of the exercise includes off-sea exercises, naval maneuvers, weapons firing on surface and air targets, naval development and coordinated navigation operations.

The Indian Navy is represented by two local warships – the ASW Corvette, the INS Commorta and the Guided Missile Corvette, the INS Karamook. It also includes the ships’ prime air assets. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is represented by the RSS’s intrepid officer, the exceptional class stealth frigate and endurance class landing platform Dock RSS Endeavor. The Thailand Navy is represented by Chao Freya’s Navy HTS Craburi.

Despite challenging times due to infectious disease, the exercise is a direct testament to India’s longstanding friendship with Singapore and Thailand, with a strong emphasis on strong military cooperation in the maritime sector. This exercise is intended to seek greater cooperation in the coming years with the participation of advanced platforms in complex exercises that span the entire spectrum of sea warfare. At the end of Sitmex, the participating ships from RSN will be practicing with the Indian Navy as part of SIMEX 20 in Bengaluru.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the trilateral naval exercises between India, Singapore and Thailand during his keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue in June 2018. The first version of the exercise was carried out from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in September 2019 in Port Blair and five days in the Andaman Sea.