S'pore & M'sia navies conduct 'contactless' bilateral maritime exercise

About 500 personnel were involved in the exercise.

Faris Alfiq | September 27, 2021, 08:31 PM

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The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) participated in the 29th edition of the annual bilateral maritime exercise, Exercise Malapura, from Sep. 20 to 27.

In a statement by the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) on Sep. 27, this year's exercise was hosted by Malaysia and was held in the northern part of the Malacca Strait.

500 personnel were involved in the exercise, conducted without any physical contact between servicemen from both Singapore and Malaysia.

Ships participating in the exercise included the Formidable-class frigate, RSS Stalwart, embarked with a Republic of Singapore Air Force S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter, and two Victory-class missiles corvettes, RSS Vigilance and RSS Vigour.

The RMN, on the other hand, participated with a Lekiu-class frigate (KD Lekiu), a Kasturi-class corvette (KD Lekir), a Handalan-class corvette (KD Handalan) and a Super Lynx helicopter, as well as F/A-18D and Hawk 208 fighter aircraft from the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

Navies from Singapore and Malaysia executed naval serials during the contactless sea phase after a virtual opening ceremony from RSS Singapura-Changi Naval Base and Lumut Naval Base.

The serials include air defence exercises, gunnery firings, maritime security drills, as well as manoeuvring and communications drills.


Participants demonstrated a high level of cooperation

RSN Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Saw Shi Tat said that the mutual understanding built up over the years between sailors was key to the safe and successful conduct of the exercise, and that participants demonstrated "high levels of cooperation."

He added, "strong friendships were forged amongst the sailors, and this augurs well for both navies to further strengthen collaboration going forward."

Both the RSN and RMN interact regularly across a wide range of activities, including professional exchanges and courses, as well as multilateral activities under the ambit of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM-Plus.

The two navies also work closely to enhance maritime security through the Malacca Straits Patrol.

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Top images via Republic of Singapore Navy/Facebook