Thu, 24 Jun 2021

Singapore, Nov 20 (ANI): India on Wednesday exchanged letter of intent for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable the use of Chandipur Integrated Test Range in Odisha by Singapore's defence forces.

The exchange of the Letter of Intent (LoI) took place in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a two-day trip to the Southeast Asian nation, and his Singapore counterpart NG Eng Hen.

This is the first time any foreign country would be allowed to use Indian missile test range in Odisha from where Indian forces test their strategic nuclear missiles also.

Singh co-chaired the 4th Singapore-India Defence Ministers Dialogue on the concluding day of his visit on Wednesday.

During the meeting, the minister also offered the setting up of a Joint Test Facilities under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme of India to which NG Eng Hen agreed in order to explore opportunities for joint collaboration.

"The Ministers also agreed to explore cooperation in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Geo-Spatial Data Sharing and Cyber Security. It was also agreed to hold the 5th Defence Ministers Dialogue in India next year on mutually convenient dates," said a statement from the Defence Ministry.

Both leaders expressed satisfaction over the deepening of defence ties between the two Asian countries. Hen also appreciated New Delhi's continued support for the training of the Singapore Armed Forces in India.

In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Singapore Air Force-Indian Air Force Joint Military Training this year, the exercise was expanded to include an air-sea training component for the first time.

Singh, meanwhile, reaffirmed India's full support and active participation in the regional security architecture, namely, the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) and its many initiatives.

The Defence Ministers Dialogue between India and Singapore had commenced in 2015 after the two countries signed the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) to further strengthen their long-standing bilateral defence relationship.

"The increasing degree of complexity of the bilateral exercises reflects the growing confidence and mutual respect for each other's professional capabilities," added the Ministry's statement.

Earlier in the day, Singh also visited the Kranji War Memorial and paid tributes to those who laid down their lives in the line of duty during the Second World War. (ANI)

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