The maiden trilateral naval exercise involving India, Singapore and Thailand commenced at Port Blair on Monday. The exercise was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address at Shangri-La dialogue in June 2018.
“The five-day exercise is aimed at bolstering the maritime inter-relationships amongst Singapore, Thailand and India, and contribute significantly to enhancing the overall maritime security in the region,” the Navy said in a statement. This would also strengthen interoperability and development of a common understanding of procedures, it added.
For the exercise, guided missile stealth frigate RSN Tenacious of Singapore, and Thailand Navy’s guided missile frigate HTMS Kraburi would join with INS Ranvir, a guided missile destroyer, INS Kora, a missile corvette and Sukanya, an Offshore Patrol Vessel along with P8I long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
During the harbour phase scheduled at Port Blair, professional exchanges, sports fixtures, and cross deck familiarisation visits would be organised, the Navy said. “The sea phase is scheduled from September 18 to 20, and a host of surface and air operations involving gunnery, force protection measures and communication drills would be conducted providing experience gaining and learning from each other’s best practices,” the statement added.
The Initial Planning Conference (IPC) to discuss the modalities of the exercise was held in May and the Final Planning Conference (FPC) was held in August. Malaysia has also evinced interest in joining the exercise.