India is all set to provide to Singapore naval practice and logistics
facilities, which will include live firing drills in the Andamans, to add to
the ones already being provided to the army and air force of the city-state for
the last 10 years with an eye of containing Chinese naval presence in the
Indian Ocean area.
Visiting Singapore defence minister Ng Eng Hen, who reached New Delhi from
Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal on November 28th, will hold delegation-level
talks with his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman in South Block.
The bilateral naval agreement is also slated to be inked during the talks.
With land and airspace being a scarce commodity in Singapore, the city state
has been utilising Indian military facilities to train its own small but high-tech
armed forces under special agreements first signed in 2007 and 2008.
India, for instance, provides facilities to Singapore for exercises of
mechanised forces at Babina and artillery at Deolali ranges as well as for
fighters at the Kalaikunda airbase. The two countries also regularly hold the
Simbex naval wargames, which have graduated from being purely anti-submarine
warfare exercises to complex ones involving multiple facets of operations at
With an eye firmly on China, India has over the last several years worked
towards deepening military ties with Asean countries like Singapore, Vietnam,
Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia in accordance with its "Act East"
India, for instance, provides military supplies and submarine training to
sailors from Vietnam, and will soon begin to also train its fighter pilots on
Sukhoi jets. Moreover, it has also offered BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles
and Akash area defence missile systems to Vietnam.
Similarly, India has also offered to train Indonesian Navy in submarine
warfare, in addition to holding joint combat exercises with the country.