Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy is on an official visit to Singapore from 02 to 04 May 2023.
During the visit the CNS co-officiated the inaugural ceremony of maiden ASEAN – India Maritime Exercise (AIME) 2023, held at Changi Naval Base, Singapore on 02 May 23. The ceremony was jointly inaugurated by Adm R Hari Kumar and RAdm Sean Wat, Chief of Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy in the presence of senior dignitaries from other ASEAN nations. This inaugural edition of AIME is being co-hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy and Indian Navy; and will witness participation of ships and personnel from other ASEAN countries.
The harbour phase of the exercise is scheduled to be held at Changi Naval Base from 02 – 04 May 2023 and the Sea Phase will be conducted from 07 to 08 May 2023 in the South China Sea.
In addition to representing India and the Indian Navy during the AIME 2023, Adm R Hari Kumar, will also be attending the opening ceremony of International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX-23) and will deliver a talk on ‘Cooperation and Collaboration in the Future Maritime Environment’ during a panel discussion at 8th International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC), being conducted on the side lines of IMDEX – 23.
The CNS would also be calling on Minister for Defence, Singapore and would be interacting with the Chief of Defence Force (CDF), Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Chief of Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), other Navy Chiefs and Heads of Delegation from countries participating in the AIME, IMDEX and IMSC. CNS would be having an engagement with Academia in Singapore to discuss ASEAN – India Maritime Connect Opportunities.
The AIME-23 is aimed at promoting maritime cooperation and enhancing trust, friendship and confidence amongst ASEAN and Indian Navies. The Harbour Phase at Singapore from 02 to 04 May 23 will witness a range of professional and social interactions between the participating navies which includes cross deck visits, Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE) and planning meetings. The Sea Phase scheduled from 07 to 08 May 23 in the South China Sea will provide an opportunity for the participating navies to develop closer links in the coordination and execution of operations in the maritime domain.
India’s first indigenously-built destroyer, INS Delhi and INS Satpura, an indigenously-built guided missile stealth frigate alongwith a P8I Maritime Patrol aircraft will participate in the Inaugural ASEAN India Maritime Exercise and IMDEX. The participating ships form a part of Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet based at Visakhapatnam and operate under the command of RAdm Gurcharan Singh, the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet. Presence of the indigenously built ships of the Indian Navy at the multi-national events will be an opportunity to showcase the ship-building capabilities of Indian Shipyards.
ASEAN is at the core of India’s Indo-Pacific Policy as was enunciated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi in his speech at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore in 2018. AIME reinforces this belief and India’s commitment to ‘Act East’ in its endeavour to ensure ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR). The visit of the CNS further consolidates the high level of bilateral defence engagements with Singapore as well as India’s recognition of ‘ASEAN Centrality’ to the region.