COLOMBO – SLINEX-20, the eighth edition of the annual Indian Navy (IN) – Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) bilateral maritime exercise is being held off Trincomalee, with the SLN represented by its vessels Sayura (Offshore Patrol) and Gajabahu(Training) led by Rear Admiral Bandara Jayathilaka, the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Fleet. Indigenously built ASW corvettes Kamorta and Kiltan, under the command of Rear Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, are representing the Indian Navy.
The three-day event which got underway on Monday (19) and is scheduled to end on Wednesday (21), also has the participation of the Indian Navy’s Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Chetak helicopter, which arrived onboard IN ships, in addition to the Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
The previous edition of SLINEX was conducted off Visakhapatnam in September 2019.
SLINEX-20 aims to enhance inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations between the two navies. In addition, the exercise also showcases capabilities of indigenously constructed naval ships and aircraft.
Surface and anti-air exercises including weapon firing, seamanship evolutions, manoeuvres and cross deck flying operations have also being held aimed at further enhancing the high degree of inter-operability already established between the two navies.
SLINEX series of exercise exemplifies the deep engagement between India and Sri Lanka, strengthening mutual cooperation in the maritime domain. Interaction between the SLN and IN has also grown signifi
cantly in recent years, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and the PM’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’.
Synergy developed during SLINEX exercises resulted in seamless coordination of joint SLN – IN 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, a statement from the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.
It also said the exercise is being conducted in a non-contact ‘at-sea-only’ format in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.