The exercises include naval manoeuvres, surface warfare exercises and weapon firings

In the latest in a series of maritime exercises with other nations proving its prowess at sea by showcasing indigenously built military equipment, India is now participating in the 2nd edition of the Singapore, India, and Thailand Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX-20 being held in the Andaman Sea.

Indian ships participating in the two-day exercise which began on Sunday include the indigenously built ASW corvette Kamorta and missile corvette Karmuk.

While the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is being represented by the ‘Formidable’ Class frigate ‘Intrepid’ and ‘Endurance’ Class Landing Ship Tank ‘Endeavour,’ the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is participated with the ‘Chao Phraya’ Class frigate ‘Kraburi’ in the exercise.

According to the Indian Navy, the exercise highlights the growing synergy between the navies of the three nations.

“2nd Trilateral #Maritime Exercise #SITMEX_20 underway in #AndamanSea 21-22 Nov20 highlights growing synergy, coordination & cooperation in the #maritime domain between #IndianNavy, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) & Royal Thai Navy (RTN),” the Indian Navy wrote on Twitter.

A variety of exercises are being conducted by the three navies, including naval manoeuvres, surface warfare exercises and weapon firings, during the joint maritime exercise being hosted by Singapore this year.

According to the Ministry of Defence, besides improving interoperability between the friendly navies, SITMEX series of exercises also aims to strengthen mutual confidence and develop common understanding and procedures towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.

This time, the exercise is being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation around the world. Being conducted at a time of crisis, the exercise highlights growing synergy, coordination and cooperation in the maritime domain between the three friendly navies and maritime neighbours.

The tri-navy exercise began in September 2019 with its first edition hosted by the Indian Navy off Port Blair. The exercise is an important maritime exercise for India, especially during the ongoing border standoff between India and China.

The SITMEX series of exercises are conducted to enhance mutual interoperability and imbibing best practices between Indian Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy and Royal Thai Navy.

The exercise comes a day after the 30th edition of the India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT). The three-day exercise which began on November 18 contributed towards Indian Navy’s efforts to consolidate interoperability and forge strong bonds of friendship with the Royal Thai Navy.

India deployed Missile Corvette INS Karmuk while Thailand sent His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Kraburi, a Chao Phraya Class Frigate.

A similar exercise was undertaken by the navies of India and Bangladesh on October 4 and 5 this year. It was the third edition of Indian Navy-Bangladesh Navy Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) in Northern Bay of Bengal.

The latest naval exercise comes on the heels of the second phase of Malabar Exercise 2020, which was undertaken by India and other members of Quad grouping namely Australia, the USA and Japan in the Arabian Sea from November 18.

The first phase was held in the Bay of Bengal in early November. The second phase lasting four days continued in the Arabian Sea and involved two aircraft carriers, along with other ships, submarines, and aircraft of the participating navies.