Colombo/New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) A six-day joint naval exercise between India and Sri Lanka commenced in the seas off Trincomalee, in the eastern part of the island nation on Tuesday, the Lankan navy media unit said.
The joint exercise titled “SLINEX 2015″ is scheduled to end on November 1. Six naval ships and six Fast Attack Craft of the Sri Lankan Navy and three ships of the Indian Navy are taking part in the joint exercise, Xinhua news agency reported.
The navy said it concerns maintaining effective maritime security in the region by integrating forces through cooperation, coordination and collaboration.
“This leads to mutual understanding of limitations and capabilities, to enhance service interoperability and system compatibility in countering challenges,” the navy media unit said.
The joint exercise was seen as a great opportunity for both the navies to rehearse and improve capabilities such as cross deck operations, replenishment at sea and information sharing.
The two navies will also carry out coordinated helicopter operations at sea during the exercise.
“Indian Navy has been a great mentor of Sri Lanka Navy in many maritime aspects. Regular joint exercises have facilitated both the navies to gradually and systematically develop professionalism through these interactions,” the navy said.
Earlier, in New Delhi, it was announced that the Indian naval ships Kora, Kirpan and Savitri along with ship-borne integral helicopters entered Trincomalee to participate in the exercise.
Kora and Kirpan, the missile corvettes, are commanded by Commander Ashok Rao and Commander Abraham Samuel respectively.
The offshore patrol vessel Savitri is under Commander Prashant Negi.
In addition, an Indian naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft will also participate in the exercise, the statement said.
The exercise will include complex operations including anti-piracy exercises, gun firing and cross-deck helicopter operations.
The sea phase will start on October 30.
“The benefits of operational interactions under 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,” the Indian Navy said.
“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.”