The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) concluded the 30th edition of Exercise Malapura today, which is the largest in scale of the exercise series to date. Held from 4 to 14 November 2022, this year’s exercise saw the inaugural participation of the RSN’s Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessel RSS Unity, RMN’s Keris-class Littoral Mission Ship KD Badik, as well as two F-16 fighter aircraft and a Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). Other participating assets from the RSN included a Formidable-class Frigate RSS Supreme, with an S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter embarked, and two Victory-class Missile Corvettes RSS Valiant and RSS Vigour. The RMN also deployed a Lekiu-class Frigate KD Lekiu, with a Super Lynx naval helicopter embarked, a Kedah-class Offshore Patrol Vessel KD Selangor, and a Handalan-class Missile Boat KD Gempita.
Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Aaron Beng and Chief of RMN Admiral (ADM) Tan Sri Mohd Reza Bin Mohd Sany attended the opening ceremony of the exercise on 4 November at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base. The ceremony was co-officiated by RSN Fleet Commander RADM Sean Wat and RMN Commander of the Western Fleet Vice-Admiral (VADM) Datuk Abu Bakar bin Mohd Ajis, where they jointly unveiled the 30th edition Exercise Malapura commemorative coin.
Commenting on the significance of Exercise Malapura during the commemorative dinner, RADM Beng said, “The exercise is the cornerstone of the bilateral relationship between our navies and indeed, it was the first bilateral exercise between our two armed forces, and remains a key exercise for the SAF…The scope of the exercise has also gradually increased and gradually encompassed more, not only different types of serials, but also across different domains.” Expressing confidence in the relations between the RSN and the RMN, ADM Tan Sri Mohd Reza added, “I believe the experiences gained from Exercise Malapura will strengthen the deep bonds of friendship that have existed and will continue to be strengthened between the two navies…Through unwavering friendship and continued engagement, we will maintain a steady course in reaching a safe and secure maritime environment in this region.”
During the shore phase from 4 to 7 November, personnel from both navies conducted joint planning and professional exchanges, while incorporating commemorative activities. During the sea phase from 8 to 13 November, both navies conducted a range of serials, including gunnery firing, maritime surveillance, air defence, manoeuvring and communication drills, and a commemorative sail-past. The exercise concluded with an exercise debrief in Lumut Naval Base. Established in 1984, Exercise Malapura underscores the warm and long-standing defence ties between Singapore and Malaysia. The RSN and RMN interact regularly across a wide range of activities. These include 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)/ADMM-Plus. The two navies also work closely to enhance maritime security through the Malacca Straits Patrol.