India, SL begin joint naval military drill in Bay of Bengal

Pune: A Group photo of Indian-Sri Lankan Army during Joint Training Exercise-Mitra Shakti-2015 at Aundh Military Camp, in Pune on Oct 12, 2015. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) India and Sri Lanka on Tuesday began joint naval military exercises in the Bay of Bengal off the Vizag port in Andhra Pradesh.

Four naval ships from both countries which are participating in the exercise began co-ordinated maritime operations in the ‘sea phase’ of the exercise. Prior to the sea phase, the Navies had engaged in professional interactions, training activities, cultural events and sporting exchanges, in a ‘harbour phase’, for three days at the Vizag port.

The six-day joint exercise SLINEX 2019 had formally commenced on September 7 at the Vizag port.

From Tuesday onwards, the four ships and their crew will participate in drills including aircraft tracking, cross-deck flying, gun firing, visit board search and seizure procedures, underway replenishment and navigational manoeuvres in the sea.

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 vessel to the Vizag port for the exercise.

The Indian Navy is being represented by 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.

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