Indo-Singapore bilateral naval exercise SIMBEX held
Ashok Kumar Gupta (1981 batch Tamil Nadu cadre) who was Special Secretary in the Department of Defence Production has taken over as the new Secretary (Defence Production), succeeding G. Mohan Kumar. Gupta is a post-graduate in public administration from Syracuse University (USA) and an M.Phil degree holder in defence and strategic studies from Madras University.
He has worked in various capacities in different ministries and departments including Health and Family Welfare, Defence, Industry and Commerce, Small Scale Industries, Urban Development, Personnel and Shipping.
The Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, is on an operational deployment to South Indian Ocean and South China Sea. As a part of this deployment, INS Satpura, indigenously-built guided missile stealth frigate, commanded by Captain Hari Krishnan and INS Kamorta, the latest and indigenous anti-submarine warfare corvette, commanded by Commander Manoj Kumar Jha had arrived at Singapore on May 18, 2015. These ships participated in IMDEX-15 and also the bilateral naval exercise SIMBEX-15 with Singapore Navy from May 23-26, 2015.
Operational interaction between Indian Navy and RSN commenced with ASW training exercises in 1994, which has grown steadily over the past 20 years. The operational interaction was formalised as an annual bilateral exercise ‘SIMBEX’ in 1999. Since its inception, SIMBEX has grown in tactical and operational complexity. It has transcended the traditional emphasis on ASW to more complex maritime exercises, involving various facets of Naval operations such as Air Defence, Air and Surface Practice Firing, Maritime Security and Search and Rescue. SIMBEX-14 was conducted from May 22-28, 2014, off Port Blair in which RSN ships Valour and Independence participated, while Indian Navy was represented by guided missile corvettes Karmuk, Kuthar and maritime patrol aircraft Dornier. This year Indian Navy is represented by INS Satpura with integral helicopter, INS Kamorta and long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine (LRMRASW) aircraft P-8I.