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Indian Navy holds bilateral naval drill with Sri Lankan Navy

INS Vikrant during sea trials. (Indian Navy/Released)
March 11, 2022

To strengthen the neighbor policy at deeper military levels, the Indian Navy hosted a bilateral exercise on the coast of Visakhapatnam during March 7-10.

The 9th edition of India-Sri Lanka Bilateral Maritime Exercise SLINEX (Sri Lanka–India Naval Exercise) commenced on Monday at the east coast of India in the Bay of Bengal and concluded Thursday. The exercise is intended to underline the deep military ties with Sri Lanka.

The four-day naval wargames are conducted in two phases beginning with the harbor phase at Visakhapatnam held on Monday and Tuesday. The sea phase spanned Wednesday and Thursday in the Bay of Bengal, where both contingents sailed in waters and performed various kinds of naval maneuvers and war drills.

In this exercise, vessels from both militaries joined together for the exercise, with the Sri Lanka Navy represented by SLNS Sayurala, an advanced offshore patrol vessel, and the Indian Navy by INS Kirch, a guided missile corvette. Other vessels from the Indian Navy include INS Jyoti, a fleet support tanker, advanced light helicopter, Seeking and Chetak helicopters, and Dornier maritime patrol aircraft. As host, India presented a profound front of ships in exercise.

The SLINEX naval drill is focused on increasing interoperability, improving mutual understanding, enhancing synergy, and exchanging the best methods and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations. The exchange between both navies enhances allied partnership in the Indian Ocean.

The first stage of SLINEX — the Harbor Phase — included a comprehensive professional dialogue and meeting with the promotion of security, cultural, sporting, and social exchanges between both delegates.

The Sea Phase included subsurface and anti-air weapon firing exercises, seamanship evolutions, airborne operations including maritime surveillance and cross deck flying. It also included a wide array of tactical maneuvers and special forces operations involving onboard troop insertion and maritime warfare at waters.

The previous edition of SLINEX was conducted off Trincomalee in October 2020.

For years, the Indian Navy has expanded its reach through the diversity of port calls and naval drills with allied nations and expanding its role in anti-piracy patrols on strategic maritime routes in the Indian Ocean Region.

The exercise enhances relations and interoperability already established for years between the two navies. Sri Lanka is an island nation that sits on the southern tip of the Indian mass land, and as such, strengthening maritime ties with Sri Lanka is one of the most important policies of India’s Doctrine.

India and Sri Lanka share mutual security policy for Indian Ocean Region as both countries have immediate geographical access to sea routes where 70% of the world’s maritime trade takes place. India has acted as a net security provider to these routes as an emerging blue-water navy with greater roles.