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India, Singapore Cement Defence Relations Amid Growing Threat From China

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India has further enhanced its defence relations with Singapore. The Indian Government has permitted Singapore to use its Chandipur Integrated Test Range which is located in the state of Orissa.

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India and Singapore earlier signed a letter of intent to register the commitment of both sides to conclude a memorandum of understanding to allow the use of the test range.

This was agreed during the 4th Singapore-India Defence Ministers’ Dialogue co-chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Singaporean counterpart Dr NG Eng Hen in Singapore.

Rajnath Singh offered the setting up of joint test facilities under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme of India. Dr Ng agreed to explore opportunities for joint collaboration. The ministers also agreed to explore cooperation in the fields of artificial intelligence, geo-spatial data sharing and cybersecurity, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said.

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Since 2015 the relationship between the two countries has deepened to encompass military cooperation across all three services of the armed forces, defence technology cooperation as well as cooperation through multilateral engagements.

The inaugural edition of the Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise (SITMEX) in the Andaman Sea was conducted in September 2019. The two sides agreed to conduct the trilateral maritime exercise involving Singapore, India and Thailand annually from next year.

This five days of maritime exercise aims to strengthen relations between all three countries. This maritime exercise will enhance the capability and cooperation between India, Singapore and Thailand.

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Navy officials said three Indian ships including INS Ranvir, a guided-missile destroyer; INS Kora, a missile corvette and INS Sumedha, an offshore patrol vessel, are participating in the exercise. India’s long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8I have also been deployed in the exercise. Other deployments by India include the warships RSS Tenacious, a formidable-class guided missile stealth frigate and HTMS Kraburi, a guided missile frigate.

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