Indian Naval ships INS Kiltan, an Advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette, and INS Savitri, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, are currently in Colombo to participate in the 10th Edition of the annual bilateral maritime Exercise SLINEX-2023 with Sri Lanka from April 3-8.
The Exercise is being conducted in two phases; the Harbour Phase in Colombo from April 3-5 followed by Sea Phase from April 6-8, off Colombo.
The Sri Lanka Navy is being represented by SLNS Gajabahu (Advance Offshore Patrol Vessel) and SLNS Sagara (OPV).
In addition, Indian Navy Chetak helicopter and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft along with Sri Lanka Air Force Dornier and BELL 412 helicopters are also participating in the Exercise.
The Exercise will also feature the Special Forces of the two Navies. The previous edition of SLINEX was conducted in Visakhapatnam from March 7-12, 2022.
SLINEX-2023 aims to enhance interoperability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices/procedures in multi-faceted Maritime operations between both Navies. The Harbour Phase includes sports fixtures, yoga sessions 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. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera along with Deputy Indian High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob took part at the opening ceremony of SLINEX-2023 on Monday.
Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay is scheduled to welcome State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon onboard the indigenous Indian Naval ships.
The Armed Forces and the Indian Naval ships will be kept open for a large number of visitors including schoolchildren to spread awareness and interest. A Coordinated Indian Navy-Sri Lanka Navy Band/Cultural Performance in collaboration with Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre is also being organised for the public at Dutch Hospital and Viharamahadevi Park. Harbour training activities, SME interaction and training at HARD simulator will also be progressed during SLINEX 23.
A reception for the Senior Officials from Sri Lanka will be hosted onboard the Indian Naval ships by the High Commissioner of India on April 4.
The Sea Phase would include Exercises in multi-dimensions like surface and anti-air firing Exercises, seamanship evaluations, helicopter and maritime patrol aircraft operations including cross deck flying, advance tactical manoeuvres, search and rescue and Special Forces operations at sea, which will further enhance the high degree of interoperability already established between the two friendly Navies.
SLINEX series of Exercise exemplifies the deep engagement between India and Sri Lanka which has strengthened mutual cooperation in the maritime domain. Interaction between the SLN and IN has also grown significantly in recent years, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’.