India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’ is boosting interactions with neighbouring countries including Sri Lanka with which Indian Navy (IN) initiated a 8th Edition of annual Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX-20 from October 19-21 October 2020 off Trincomalee in Sri Lanka. The exercise is being conducted in a non-contact ‘at-sea-only’ format amid COVID-19.
- The Indian side is represented by indigenously built ASW (anti- Submarine Warfare corvettes) Kamorta and Kiltan under the command of Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet (FOCEF) while Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) is represented by SLN Ships Sayura (Offshore Patrol Vessel) and Gajabahu (Training Ship) led by Rear Admiral Bandara Jayathilaka, the Flag Officer Commanding Naval.
- In addition, Indian Navy Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak helicopters embarked onboard IN ships, and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft are also participating.
- The 7th edition of SLINEX was conducted off Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) in September 2019.
- The aim of this exercise is to enhance interoperability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations between both navies.
How SLINEX is beneficial?
This exercise enhances seamless coordination as teamwork which will be helpful in rendering assistance when requiring. For example:
- In September 2020, MT New Diamond, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) of Panama had caught fire off the East Coast of Sri Lanka during which both navies provided their services in rescue operation.
Recent Related News:
i.On September 23-24, 2020, Indian Navy conducted a two-day long Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in the East Indian Ocean Region (IOR) where Indian side was represented by stealth frigate INS Sahyadri and missile corvette INS Karmuk Australian side included HMAS Hobart.
ii.The Fourth Edition of the Biennial Japan-India Maritime Exercise JIMEX-2020 took place between Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in the North Arabian Sea from 26th September-28th September, 2020.
About Sri Lanka:
Capitals– Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency– Sri Lankan rupee
Prime Minister– Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa
About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters MoD (Navy)– New Delhi