Singapore (NVI): India and Singapore today agreed on a slew of measures to take the mutual synergy in their defence and bilateral ties to the next level and support further initiatives to promote stability in the Indo-Pacific.
This was the outcome of 4th Singapore-India Defence Ministers’ Dialogue which was co-chaired by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Singaporean counterpart Dr. NG Eng Hen.
The Ministers 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 DMD in India next year on mutually convenient dates.
Rajnath Singh also offered setting up of a Joint Test Facilities under the Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme of India. Dr Ng agreed to explore opportunities for joint collaboration.
The Ministers commended the progress in defence technology collaboration and exchanged Letter of Intent to register both sides’ commitment to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the use of Chandipur Integrated Test Range by the Singapore defence establishment.
The Ministers lauded the growth in cooperation in the maritime domain. The inaugural edition of the Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise (SITMEX) in the Andaman Sea was conducted in September 2019.
The Defence Minister of Singapore appreciated India’s continued support for the training of the Singapore Armed Forces in India.
Rajnath Singh 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.
Dr Ng expressed support for India’s upcoming co-chairmanship of the ADMM Plus Experts’ Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and welcomed India’s deepening engagements with other ASEAN States, both in bilateral and multilateral formats.
In this regard, both sides welcomed the conclusion of a Letter of Intent to reaffirm mutual commitment to explore deepening HADR cooperation in areas such as information sharing and capacity building.
The DMD between India and Singapore had commenced in 2015 after both countries signed the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) to further strengthen the long-standing bilateral defence relationship. Since then, the relationship has broadened and deepened to encompass military cooperation across all three Services of the Armed Forces of India & Singapore, defence technology cooperation as well as cooperation through multilateral engagements.