Would encourage Indian Naval ships to come to Singapore - Ng Eng Hen

Andrew Cummings
November 29, 2017

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Wednesday said he will "encourage" Indian naval ships to visit Changi Naval Base in Singapore, close to the South China Sea, more often, as the two countries vowed to strengthen defence ties and signed an agreement on naval cooperation.

The two countries witnessed the exchange of the inaugural Navy Bilateral Agreement between both countries' chiefs of navy, in which both sides agreed to increase cooperation in maritime security, increase visits to each other's ports and facilitate mutual logistics support.

A joint statement issued by the two countries said the India-Singapore Bilateral Naval Agreement would lead to increased cooperation in maritime security, joint exercises and temporary deployments. Taking Sitharaman into confidence, the Singapore Minister said that he will try to economise and support each other in mutual logistics.

The joint statement also acknowledged the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation in worldwide waters and the "free flow of maritime trade and access to the global commons in a manner consistent with worldwide law", said MINDEF.

The two sides reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation and trade consistent with worldwide laws. He said after the flight that the plane was "excellent and very impressive".

Tejas is the first aircraft designed, developed and manufactured in India.

"In fact the plane ride was so smooth that despite the G-turns and manoeuvres, I managed to even take some selfies", Ng said. Air Vice Marshal A.P. Singh was the pilot who flew the visiting dignitary in the LCA.

Dr Ng Eng Hen visited the Republic of Singapore Air Force-Indian Air Force Joint Military Training at Kalaikunda Air Force Station in Kolkata. The IAF has fielded its Sukhoi-30 fighter jets. The bilateral air force one, under which F-16 fighters from Singapore regularly exercise at the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal, was renewed for another five years in January this year. Indian defence sources, however, said Singapore has evinced interest in Tejas.

He said that technical people will see whether the country will buy the aircraft.

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