Colombo : Keeping up the high tempo of bilateral and mutual cooperation in the maritime domain, the 10th Edition of the annual Indian Navy and Sri Lanka Navy bilateral maritime Exercise SLINEX-2023 started on Monday in Colombo.
Deputy High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Vinod Jacob on Monday took part in the opening of the annual bilateral naval exercise 'SLINEX2023.' SLINEX-2023 aims to enhance interoperability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices/ procedures in multi-faceted Maritime operations between both Navies.
While addressing the forces, Vinod Jacob said it is the first SLINEX held after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vinod Jacob noted that the defence ties between India and Sri Lanka are at their "strongest at present," Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka said in a tweet.
Vinod Jacob stressed that the bilateral ties between the two nations complement the robust engagement at the political level, the economic and commercial ties, people-to-people and cultural connections and an upgraded development cooperation partnership.
Indian High Commission in Colombo tweeted, "Deputy HC @VinodKJacob76 attended the opening of SLINEX2023, annual bilateral Naval Exercise. In his address, he highlighted a few firsts: First SLINEX post-#Covid First after @indiannavy changed its Ensign First with the participation of Air Force and Special Forces."
In another tweet, Indian High Commission in Colombo wrote, "Further, India Sri Lanka defence relations are at their strongest at present. They complement the robust engagement at the political level, the economic and commercial ties, people to people and cultural connect and an upgraded development cooperation partnership."
The exercise is being conducted in two phases - the Harbour Phase in Colombo from April 3-5 followed by Sea Phase from 6-8 April, off Colombo.
The Indian Navy will be represented by INS Kiltan (Advanced Anti Submarine Warfare Corvette) and INS Savitri (Offshore Patrol Vessel) while Sri Lanka Navy will have SLNS Gajabahu (Advance Offshore Patrol Vessel) and SLNS Sagara (OPV), according to the press release.
Furthermore, the Indian Navy Chetak helicopter and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft as well as Sri Lanka Air Force Dornier and BEL 412 helicopters will participate in the exercise. The special forces of the two navies will also feature in the exercise. The previous edition of SLINEX was conducted in Visakhapatnam from 7-12 March 2022.
The High Commission of India in Colombo in the press release said, "SLINEX-2023 aims to enhance interoperability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices/ procedures in multi-faceted Maritime operations between both Navies."
It further said, "The Harbour Phase would include sports fixtures, yoga session and cultural events which would provide an opportunity for personnel from both Navies to learn from each other, reinforce shared values and build bonds of friendship and camaraderie." Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay is scheduled to host the visit of Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, State Minister of Defence onboard the indigenous Indian naval ships.