Singapore Defense Minister Flies In India's LCA Tejas



Throwing light upon the mutual Navy-to-Navy agreement between both nations, Ng Eng Hen said the agreement has provisions for mutual logistics support.

Both sides yesterday exchanged documents to boost bilateral naval cooperation, reflecting deeper defence ties amid mutual concerns about protecting critical sea lanes. We will exercise and patrol in your waters as do in ours.

Calling the Strait of Malacca and Indian Ocean key lines of communication, the Minister said it "makes sense for countries to cooperate not only to establish maritime security but to maintain freedom of navigation".

The pact on naval cooperation provides for increased engagement in the maritime security sphere, joint exercises, temporary deployments from each other's naval facilities and logistics support.

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The two countries reiterated the need to respect freedom of navigation and trade in global waters in the backdrop of China's aggressive and expansionist behaviour in the Asia Pacific region.

"I think I speak on behalf of both countries, we want to see more participation and activity in both the Strait of Malacca and Andaman sea", Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said at the joint press conference along with his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman after the second Defence Ministerial dialogue.

"Privileged to be flown on the Tejas, India's own designed and manufactured fighter aircraft".

Ms. Sitharaman said Singapore had accepted India's proposal to institutionalise naval engagements in the shared maritime space, including setting up maritime exercises with like-minded countries and other ASEAN partners.

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The Project Director for Flight Testing at the Aeronautical Development Agency, Air Vice Marshal AP Singh was the pilot who flew the visiting Singapore minister on an around half an hour sortie.

"I can imagine why my pilots find so much value in training with IAF pilots", he said.

Asked about the joint military training, Ng said, "I hope this will continue for long".

The two ministers also discussed Singapore's proposal to expand the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea to all ADMM (Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting)-Plus countries as well as to establish guidelines for air encounters between military aircraft, the statement said.

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