With the aim to build interoperability and mutual understanding as well as sharing of best practices, the 6th edition of IBSAMAR, a joint Multi – National Maritime Exercise between the Indian, Brazilian and South African Navies, is being held at Simons Town, South Africa from Oct 1-13.
The exercise includes both harbour and sea phases with various navigation and seamanship evolutions, surface weapons firing, force protection exercises, antipiracy exercise, anti-air and anti-submarine exercise as well as flying operations. Apart from professional activities, sports and social engagements are also planned.
According to the Indian Navy spokesperson Capt DK Sharma, “The Indian Navy is represented in IBSAMAR VI by Guided Missile Frigate INS Tarkash, Guided Missile Destroyer INS Kolkata, Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I, Seaking and Chetak helicopters as well as a MARCOS contingent.”
The Commanding Officers of the Indian Navy called on the Chief of Fleet Staff of the South Africa Navy as well as a few other senior officers and the Magistrate and the Commissioner of Simon’s Town.
Initiated in 2006, ‘Exercise IBSAMAR’ is the most visible manifestation of convergence of democratic values, economic interests and maritime cooperation.
The first phase of the exercise between October 1 -3 will be in Simon’s town harbour followed by a three day sea phase in and around False Bay in South Africa.
According to media reports, along with three platforms SAS Amatola, SAS Protea and SAS Manthatisi the South African Navy has also sent in elements of its maritime reaction squadron, who will be working with a platoon of Brazilian Special Forces embarked on the frigate BNS Barroso and Indian marines on board INS Kolkata, a stealth guided missile destroyer and the Talwar Class frigate, INS Tarkash. Air asset from Brazil includes AS350 Ecureuil.
South Africa is providing a 22 Squadron Super Lynx aboard SAS Amatola as well as a C-47 TP (35 Squadron), an Oryx medium transport helicopter (also 22 Squadron) and a pair of 2 Squadron Gripens from AFB Makhado in Limpopo, according to reports.
The countries recently expressed their satisfaction with the preparations for the 6th edition of the IBSAMAR naval exercise, and for the IBSA Joint Defence Working Group meeting, in South Africa.
According to a IBSA dialogue forum Joint communiqué issued after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj met with her counterparts from Brazil and South Africa on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UNGA in New York City last week, the member countries emphasized their importance as a positive example of trilateral cooperation in defense and confirmed the continuity of these activities as well as the exploration of new initiatives with great potential in that field.
For the first time, earlier this year from Feb 19-26, IBSAMAR (IBSAMAR V) was conducted off Goa as all previous exercises were held in South Africa.