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Rediff.com  » News » Singapore armed forces to train in India

Singapore armed forces to train in India

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April 23, 2004 16:25 IST

Armed forces of Singapore are all set to train in India, according to Indian military sources.

It is the first time that India is extending such a privilege to any country.

In October, five jets from the Singapore Air Force will exercise in Gwalior and may also carry out live firing at the Pokhran range, where the Indian Air Force also conducts its exercises.

The arrangement was agreed upon during Defence Secretary Ajay Prasad's visit to Singapore in March last week.

The issue was discussed over the past couple of days when the chief of the Singapore defence forces, Major General Ng Yat Chung, met his counterpart, Admiral Madhvendra Singh, chief of defence staff, and other senior defence ministry officials in New Delhi, the sources said.

The decision was taken in view of India's historic ties with Singapore, which is just 647.5 square kilometres in area.

Singapore's attempts to reclaim land from the sea have been causing much friction with its neighbours, especially Malaysia.

Within its area, the Singapore defence forces find it difficult to carry out large-scale exercises, said the sources.

The Singapore army and navy are also expected to use Indian facilities to improve their skills. The two sides will also conduct joint exercises involving the army, air force and navy, the sources said.

India and Singapore have a long history of close defence relations. The two navies have exchanged visits and the two countries have carried out equipment supplies.

The two navies are also expected to intensify their cooperation against gunrunning, and smuggling in seas, the sources said.

Josy Joseph in New Delhi
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