The seventh edition of India-Sri Lanka joint maritime naval exercise SLINEX 2017 was held near Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) in Bay of Bengal. It will be conducted from 7th to 14th September 2017. The seven days exercise aimed to reinforce strong neighbourly ties between both countries underscored by extensive maritime interaction and improved understanding.
SLINEX 2017 focused on fleet work, seamanship, communication, replenishment at sea as well as helicopter operations. Sri Lanka Navy’s offshore patrol vessels, SLNS Sayura and Sagara had participated in this edition of biennial exercise.
The exercises were held in both Harbour Phase and Sea Phase. In harbor phase, both participant navies engaged in professional, cultural and social interactions. In Sea Phase, both navies jointly conducted complex operations including anti-piracy exercises, cross-deck helicopter operations, gun firings and anti-surface exercises.
SLINEX series of biennial bilateral maritime exercises between India and Sri Lank, initiated in 2005. Its mandate is to enable navies of both countries to rehearse and improve their own capabilities and enhance operational effectiveness required to maintain maritime security in the region.
Indian Naval ships Kora, Kirpan and Savitri along with ship-borne integral helicopters entered Trincomalee on 27 Oct 15 to participate in the exercise. Kora and Kirpan, the missile corvettes, are commanded by Commander Ashok Rao and Commander Abraham Samuel, respectively, and the Offshore Patrol Vessel Savitri is commanded by Commander Prashant Negi. In addition, an Indian Naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft will also participate in the exercise. The Sri Lankan Navy will be represented by Sayura, Samudra, Sagara, six Fast Attack Crafts, two Fast Gun Boats and one Fast Missile Vessel.
The exercise will commence with a Harbour Phase, during which, the participants will engage in professional, cultural and social interactions. The Harbour Phase will be followed by the Sea Phase, which will commence on 30 Oct. The Sea Phase will include complex operations including anti-piracy exercises, gun firings, cross-deck helicopter operations and anti-surface exercises.
The benefits of operational interactions under the aegis of SLINEX are clearly visible as both the Navies today have an improved and steadfast understanding. SLINEX 15 will further enhance the capability of the two navies to work together at sea and contribute towards maritime security in the region.
SLINEX aims to promote mutual understanding and provide exposure to both the Navies to each others’ operating procedures, communication procedures and best practices. This allows the two navies to develop greater confidence to operate together, if required, during complex maritime missions. Periodic conduct of this exercise has helped to build on past experiences and further advance professional as well as operational engagements between the two navies.