Sri Lanka, India hold largest naval exercise

A joint exercise of Sri Lankan and Indian naval forces started today in the eastern seas off Trincomalee to enhance interoperability of the two navies.

Colombo/New Delhi: India and Sri Lanka on Monday kick-started their largest ever joint naval exercise off the coast off Trincomalee to enhance interoperability between
the two navies.

"Indian Navy and Sri Lanka Navy started a joint naval exercise off Trincomalee today. It will go on until 24th September," Sri Lankan Naval spokesman Commander Kosala
Warnakulasuriya said.

The exercise is taking place after a gap of six years as the last exercise was held in 2005.

"The exercise, code-named `SLINEX II`, is aimed at enhancing interoperability of the two navies. It will pave way for both navies to rehearse the concept of joint naval
operations and enhance own skills in order to gain from each other`s experience," he said.

India is participating in the exercise with one of its latest inductions the INS Shivalik stealth frigate under Eastern Fleet Commander Rear Admiral HCS Bisht along with one Rajput Class destroyer, one missile corvette and one Landing Ship Tanker (Large) and two Fast Attack Crafts, Indian Navy officials said in New Delhi.

The Sri Lankan Navy has contributed two offshore patrol vessels, one fast missile vessel, two fast gun boats and six fast attack crafts in the major exercise.

These are routine exercises of the two navies who maintained a close cooperation during Sri Lanka`s battle against the LTTE in the north and north eastern waters, the
Sri Lankan officials said.


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