SINGAPORE: A Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) warship is taking part in the inaugural Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Russia maritime exercise, held from Wednesday (Dec 1) to Friday.
The exercise is being conducted off Sabang, Indonesia, and involves eight ships and observers from ASEAN member states and Russia, Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said on Thursday.
The ships are from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
During the sea phase of the exercise, RSN's Victory-class missile corvette RSS Vigour joined the other ships in conducting communication and manoeuvring drills, a search and rescue exercise, and a maritime security exercise.
As part of the maritime security exercise, the ships tracked the movement of simulated vessels of interest, using alerts from ASEAN international liaison officers attached to RSN’s Information Fusion Centre.
The centre, which helps countries share maritime security information, uses a real-time, web-based system designed for rapid collaboration.
The exercise will conclude with a sail past of all participating ships.
MINDEF said the exercise is conducted in line with the Code for Unplanned Encounters At Sea, a "confidence-building measure" that includes safety procedures, communications plans and manoeuvring instructions to promote maritime security.
The code was adopted by ADMM-Plus navies in 2017 under Singapore and South Korea's co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Maritime Security.
The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States – to strengthen security and defence cooperation in the region.
"Singapore’s participation in the exercise reaffirms our support for the ADMM-Plus and our commitment to uphold an open and inclusive regional security architecture," MINDEF said.
The exercise comes after the 4th ASEAN-Russia Summit in October, when Russia and ASEAN member states reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring "maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and
overflight and unimpeded commerce".
This includes promoting self-restraint, non-use of force or the threat to use force, and resolving disputes through peaceful means in line with universally recognised principles of international law, said a joint statement by the nations.
RSS Vigour's commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Gavin Cheong said on Thursday that it is important for navies to cooperate with each other to protect key maritime trade routes while ensuring safer seas.
"This exercise allows the navies of ASEAN member states and Russia to strengthen collaboration, enhance understanding and build confidence in our ability to address common maritime security challenges at sea," he added.