NEW DELHI — Under a July 11 agreement reached between the visiting prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here, India will continue to train troops from Singapore at India’s training facilities.
India is already training Singaporean Air Force personnel at its facilities at Kalaikunda Air Base in West Bengal, where the two countries have previously held air exercises code named SINDEX. The two countries have held several joint exercises, with the first joint Army exercise taking place in India from Feb. 11 to April 5, 2005.
The two countries signed an agreement in October 2003 on defense cooperation, under which the defense forces of the two countries would conduct joint air, land and naval exercises in India and Singapore. The agreement also calls for joint cooperation in defense production between state-owned Indian defense firms and Indian ordnance factories and Singapore defense firms.
New Delhi is keen to increase defense cooperation with Singapore as part of its “look east” policy and efforts to build stronger military linkages in the Asia-Pacific region to counter China, said Nitin Mehta, a defense analyst based here.
In addition to the air and land exercises, the two countries also have held joint naval exercises, such as search-and-rescue operations and anti-piracy exercises around the Strait of Malacca and the Bay of Bengal.