Visakhapatnam: The harbour phase of the seventh edition of the ongoing bilateral maritime exercise between Sri Lanka and India—Slinex 2019—has concluded.

SLN ships Sindhurala (an advanced offshore patrol vessel) and Suranimala (a fast missile vessel) arrived at Visakhapatnam on Saturday. The week-long exercise is divided into two phases, starting with a harbour phase at Visakhapatnam, followed by a sea phase in the Bay of Bengal from September 10 to 12. The Indian Navy is being represented by missile corvette INS Khukri and the Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel INS Sumedha, along with integral helicopters. In addition, shore-based maritime patrol aircraft will also be participating in the event.

Slinex commenced with an opening ceremony at the headquarters of the Eastern Fleet on Sunday. The ceremony was co-chaired by Rear Admiral Puneet Chadha, chief staff officer (Ops) HQ-ENC and Rear Admiral AUC De Silva, flag officer Commanding Naval Fleet (FOCNF) of the SLN and was attended by commanding officers and op teams from all participating ships.

Professional interaction between the personnel of the Indian Navy and the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) on asymmetric warfare, ship borne helicopter operations and mine counter measures took place as part of the harbour phase. Trainee officers from the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) ships Sindhurala and Suranimala visited INS Khukri and INS Sumedha as part of a cross deck visit.

SLN personnel visited INS Dega and INS Khukri where they were briefed on helicopter operations. SLN personnel also visited INS Vishwakarma where they participated in fire fighting and damage control training in the DC simulator ‘Avijit.’