By Cheena Kapoor
NEW DELHI, India (AA) - Amid high border tensions with China, India is participating in a two-day trilateral maritime naval exercise which commences in the Arabian Sea on Sunday, confirmed the Indian Navy.
The two days of maritime drills, called SITMEX-20, will be conducted by the navies of India, Singapore, and Thailand, which will participate in a variety of exercises, including naval maneuvers, surface warfare exercises, and weapon firings.
The maritime exercise comes at a time when India and China are engaged in their worst border tensions in four decades.
“The SITMEX is conducted to enhance mutual inter-operability between the three navies. It also aims to strengthen mutual confidence and develop common understanding and procedures towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region,” confirmed Indian Navy.
Indian Navy ships, including the indigenously built ASW corvette Kamorta and missile corvette Karmuk, are participating in the exercise, whereas Singapore's navy is being represented by the "Formidable" class frigate "Intrepid", "Endurance" class landing ship tank "Endeavour", and Thailand by the "Chao Phraya" class frigate "Kraburi" in the exercise.
The first edition of SITMEX, hosted by the Indian Navy, was conducted off the Port Blair in September 2019 but this year it is being conducted as a "non-contact, at sea only" exercise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.