Indian, Sri Lankan navies to carry exercise to enhance inter-operability

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New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) The Indian and Sri Lankan navies will carry out a three day joint exercise off Trincomalee on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka, to enhance inter-operability and improve mutual understanding.

The eighth edition of bilateral maritime exercise “SLINEX” is scheduled off Trincomalee from October 19 to October 21, and is being conducted in a non-contact “at-sea-only” format against the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sri Lanka Navy will be represented by SLN Ships Sayura (offshore patrol vessel) and Gajabahu (training ship), under Fleet commander, Rear Admiral Bandara Jayathilake, while indigenously-built ASW corvettes Kamorta and Kiltan under the command of Eastern Fleet chief, Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, will represent the Indian Navy.

In addition, Indian Navy’s Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak helicopter embarked onboard IN ships, and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft will also be participating.

The previous SLINEX was conducted off Visakhapatnam in September 2019.

SLINEX aims to enhance inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations between both navies.

In addition, the exercise will also showcase capabilities of India’s indigenously constructed naval ships and aircraft, an official said.

Surface and anti-air exercises including weapon firing, seamanship evolution, manoeuvres and cross-deck flying operations are planned during the exercise, which will further enhance the high degree of inter-operability already established between the two friendly navies.

The series of exercise exemplifies the deep engagement between India and Sri Lanka which has strengthened mutual cooperation in the maritime domain.

Interaction between the Sir Lankan Navy and Indian Navy has also grown significantly in recent years, in consonance with India’s policy of “Neighbourhood First” and “Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)”.

Synergy developed during SLINEX exercises resulted in seamless coordination of joint Sri Lankan Navy and Indian Navy efforts in September 2020 to render assistance to MT New Diamond, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), which had caught fire off the east coast of Sri Lanka.

–IANS

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