- The Ninth Edition of India – Sri Lanka Bilateral Maritime Exercise SLINEX (Sri Lanka–India Naval Exercise) is scheduled at Visakhapatnam from 07 Mar to 10 Mar 2022.
- The exercise is being conducted in two phases; the Harbour Phase at Visakhapatnam on 07-08 Mar 22 followed by the Sea Phase on 09-10 Mar 22 in the Bay of Bengal.
- Sri Lanka Navy will be represented by SLNS Sayurala, an advanced offshore patrol vessel and the Indian Navy by INS Kirch, a guided missile corvette.
- Other participants from the Indian Navy include INS Jyoti, a Fleet support tanker, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Seaking and Chetak Helicopters and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
- The previous edition of SLINEX was conducted off Trincomalee in October 2020.
- SLINEX aims to enhance inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations between both navies.
- The Harbour Phase would include professional, cultural, sporting and social exchanges. Exercises during Sea Phase will include surface and anti-air weapon firing exercises, seamanship evolutions, aviation operations including cross deck flying, advanced tactical manoeuvres and special forces operations at sea.
- These will further enhance the high degree of inter-operability already existing between the two navies.
- SLINEX exemplifies the deep maritime engagement between India and Sri Lanka and has grown in scope over the years to strengthen mutual cooperation, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighborhood First’ and Hon’ble PMs vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’
Importance of SAGAR:
- SAGAR provides a mechanism for India to expand strategic partnerships with other IOR littorals in Asia and Africa.
- SAGAR indicates the leadership role and responsibilities India is ready to play in the region on a long-term basis in a transparent manner through its capacity building and capability enhancement programs.
The key relevance of SAGAR emerges when seen in conjunction with India’s other policies impacting the maritime domain like, Project Sagarmala, Project Mausam, India as ‘net security provider’, focus on Blue Economy etc.
Source: THE HINDU