Published: Thu, November 30, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Singapore Defence Minister flies in Tejas

Singapore Defence Minister flies in Tejas

He also said that Singapore wants more activities in both the Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea.

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Wednesday once again heaped praise on indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, in which he flew on Tuesday, and said he was impressed by the aircraft as well as the pilot.

The Bilateral Agreement will lead to increased cooperation in maritime security, joint exercises, temporary deployments from each other's naval facilities and mutual logistics support, the joint statement said.

Calling the talks "overwhelmingly successful and productive", the Singaporean defence minister emphasised the need for concerted regional and global efforts to deal with terrorism and other challenges such as tackling chemical and biological weapons. "Not only will Singapore be comfortable (with berthing of Indian naval ships) but would also encourage Indian Navy to visit Changi port more often", he said.

"We all recognise that the Strait of Malacca and Indian Ocean are key sea lanes of communication".

"The bilateral naval agreement has provision for mutual logistics support".

"We will conduct exercises and patrols in your waters as you do in ours".

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India and Singapore on Wednesday concluded their 2nd Defence Ministers' Dialogue, during which the latter appreciated agreed to India's proposal for continuous and institutionalised naval engagements in their shared maritime space, including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional/ ASEAN partners.

The ministers emphasised the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and trade consistent with worldwide law.

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.

He was also flown in India's supersonic Tejas fighter plane, and Ms Sitharaman said his flight "has unexpectedly generated great interest in social media in India, and I am sure in Singapore as well".

Two Tejas aircraft were flown in from Bengalure to Kalaikunda, where a joint training is on between the IAF and Republic of Singapore Air Force, which has flown in six F-16C/Ds.

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

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