India and Sri Lanka on Tuesday began their bilateral maritime exercise SLINEX 2019 in the Bay of Bengal off the Vizag port in Andhra Pradesh.
The ‘sea phase’ of the Four naval ships from both countries which are participating in the exercise began co-ordinated maritime operations. Before this, the two Navies had engaged in professional interactions, training activities, cultural events and sporting exchanges, in a ‘harbour phase’, for three days at the Vizag port.
Sri Lanka has sent SLNS Sindhurala, an advanced offshore patrol vessel which had been constructed by India’s state-run defence firm Goa Shipyards, and SLNS Suranimala, a fast missile.Two ships had left from Trincomalee in Sri Lanka for Visakhapatnam Port on Thursday.
Indian Navy announced about the joint naval military exercises through a tweet. It said, “Maritime Diplomacy. Sri Lankan Naval Ships (SLNS) Sindhurala and Suranimala arrived at Vizag to participate in 7th edition of bilateral Maritime Exercise b/n Sri Lanka & India, SLINEX 2019, from 07 – 12 Sep 19. SLNS Sindhurala was constructed at Goa ship yard ltd.”
#MaritimeDiplomacy. Sri Lankan Naval Ships (SLNS) Sindhurala & Suranimala arrived at Vizag to participate in 7th edition of bilateral #MaritimeExercise b/n Sri Lanka & India, SLINEX 2019, from 07 – 12 Sep 19. #SLNSSindhurala was constructed at @goashipyardltd #DefenceCooperation pic.twitter.com/YfnAEq9vMx
— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) September 7, 2019
The Indian Naval ships participating are, the missile corvette INS Khukri and the Naval offshore patrol vessel INS Sumedha. India has also deputed integral helicopters in addition to shore-based maritime patrol aircraft in the event.
The six-day joint exercise which commenced on September 7, at the Vizag port, will go on till September 12.
From Tuesday onwards, the four ships and their crew will participate in drills including helicoptor exercises, aircraft tracking, cross-deck flying, gun firing, visit board search and seizure procedures, underway replenishment and navigational manoeuvres in the sea.
“The exercise signifies the desire of both countries to enhance co-operation and to further strengthen mutual trust and interoperability between the two Navies,” Sri Lankan Navy was quoted by Colombo Page as saying.
“Further, it will enable both navies to rehearse and improve own capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the Indian Ocean region,” it said.