Singapore-India renew Air Force bilateral agreement

Singapore and India have renewed the bilateral agreement for the conduct of joint military training and exercises in India between the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Ministry of Defence.

India’s Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar (seated, left) and Permanent Secretary (Defence) Chan Yeng Kit (seated, right) signing the renewal of the Bilateral Agreement. Witnessing the renewal are India’s High Commissioner to Singapore His Excellency Jawed Ashraf (back row, first from left) and Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen (back row, second from left). Photo courtesy: gov.sg

The agreement was signed between Chan Yeng Kit, Singapore’s Permanent Secretary (Defence) and G Mohan Kumar, India’s Defence Secretary. The renewal of the agreement was witnessed by Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence of Singapore and His Excellency, Jawed Ashraf, India’s High Commissioner to Singapore. The agreement was concluded in 2007 and last renewed in 2012.

Kumar had earlier called on Dr Ng. Both parties reaffirmed the strong bilateral defence relations between both countries and discussed geopolitical and security developments in the region.

The renewed bilateral agreement allows the RSAF to continue its joint military training at Kalaikunda Air Force Station for another five years. It will provide the RSAF with regular opportunities to train with the IAF’s advanced Su-30 fighter aircraft, as well as many touchpoints to strengthen rapport and mutual understanding at all levels.

The RSAF’s F-16D+ fighter aircraft (bottom) and the IAF’s Su-30 fighter aircraft (top) in a flight mission during the Joint Military Training in 2016. Photo courtesy: gov.sg

Kumar was in Singapore from 18 to 19 January to co-chair the 11th Singapore-India Defence Policy Dialogue with  Chan. Established under the India-Singapore Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) signed in 2003 and inaugurated in March 2004, the DPD serves as a regular forum for both countries to discuss areas of defence cooperation and strategic developments of mutual interest.  

During the DPD, both sides underscored the strong and growing ties between the Singapore Armed Forces and the Indian Armed Forces across all three Services. Kumar and Chan also committed to strengthening bilateral defence interactions and welcomed deeper defence cooperation for mutual benefit.

Kumar’s visit reaffirms the warm and long-standing defence relations between Singapore and India, strengthened by the revised DCA signed in 2015 as well as the Air Force and Army Bilateral Agreements concluded in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Besides the DPD, the two defence establishments also interact regularly through high-level visits, professional exchanges, and defence technology cooperation.

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

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