The Ninth Edition of India – Sri Lanka Bilateral Maritime Exercise SLINEX (Sri Lanka–India Naval Exercise) is scheduled at Visakhapatnam from 07 Mar to 10 Mar 2022. The exercise is being conducted in two phases; the Harbour Phase at Visakhapatnam on 07-08 Mar 22 followed by the Sea Phase on 09-10 Mar 22 in the Bay of Bengal. SLINEX exemplifies the deep maritime engagement between India and Sri Lanka and has grown in scope over the years to strengthen mutual cooperation, in consonance with India’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ and Hon’ble PMs vision of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’.
Sri Lanka Navy will be represented by SLNS Sayurala, an advanced offshore patrol vessel and the Indian Navy by INS Kirch, a guided missile corvette. SLNS Sayurala pennant number P623 (Sayurala, in English: Sea Waves) is the flagship and an advanced offshore patrol vessel (AOPV) of the Sri Lanka Navy. It is the sister ship of SLNS Sindurala. In February 2014 contract was signed by Government of Sri Lanka and Goa Shipyard for the two Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels (AOPVs) for the Sri Lanka Navy and the production of the first AOPV began on 15 May 2014. The Keel of the vessel was laid on 10 September 2014 and was ceremonially launched on 10 June 2016.
Participants from the Indian Navy include INS Jyoti, a Fleet support tanker, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Seaking and Chetak Helicopters and Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft. INS Jyoti (A58) (meaning: sacred light) is the third of the four Komandarm Fedko-class replenishment oilers. She was modified for naval use and is now being operated by the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. Jyoti was the largest ship in the navy until INS Vikramaditya (R33) was commissioned in November 2013. Its primary role is fleet replenishment and sustaining blue-water operations. It was later fitted with close-in weapon systems for self-defence. It is a major force multiplier in sustaining the navy’s blue water operations.
SLINEX aims to enhance inter-operability, improve mutual understanding and exchange best practices and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations between both navies. The Harbour Phase would include professional, cultural, sporting and social exchanges. Exercises during Sea Phase will include surface and anti-air weapon firing exercises, seamanship evolutions, aviation operations including cross deck flying, advanced tactical manoeuvres and special forces operations at sea. These will further enhance the high degree of inter-operability already existing between the two navies. The previous edition of SLINEX was conducted off Trincomalee in October 2020.