India, Singapore to further step-up defence ties, ink submarine rescue pact
India and Singapore on Wednesday decided to further boost interaction between their armed forces as well as cooperation in military technologies and industries. The two countries have also inked an implementing agreement on submarine rescue support between their navies.
"India is fortunate to have a defence partner like Singapore. The interaction will benefit both countries on many bilateral issues that are being pursued to further strengthen our special relationship," said Rajnath Singh, after holding the fifth defence ministerial dialogue with his counterpart Ng Eng Hen through video-conferencing.
拉杰纳特·辛格(Rajnath Singh)在通过视频会议与印度国防部长吴恩亨(Ng Eng Hen)举行第五次国防部长对话后表示：“印度很幸运有一个像新加坡这样的防务伙伴。这种互动将使两国在许多双边问题上受益，这些问题正在寻求进一步加强我们的特殊关系。”
The submarine rescue cooperation pact will involve India helping Singapore if one of its submarines gets disabled underwater. Apart from other capabilities, the Indian Navy in 2018 had inducted two deep submergence rescue vessels (DSRVs), which are capable of rescuing trapped sailors from a disabled submarine up to a depth of 650 meters.
The two ministers, while expressing satisfaction at the progress of ongoing bilateral defence cooperation despite limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, discussed new areas of potential cooperation and articulated their vision in this direction, said officials.
Under bilateral pacts inked over a decade ago, Singapore already uses Indian military facilities for training of its mechanized forces at Babina, artillery at the Deolali ranges and F-16 fighter jets at the Kalaikunda airbase on a regular basis. Singapore may also use the integrated test range for firing of missiles at Chandipur in Odisha in the future.
Apart from regular naval exercises, India has also inked a naval pact with Singapore to access each other’s bases and reciprocal logistics support for warships, as part of the overall policy to steadily build military ties with Asean countries with an eye firmly on China.
India has often joined the other countries in the region to reiterate the need for all to respect freedom of navigation and trade in international waters in the backdrop of China’s aggressive and expansionist behavior in the Asia Pacific region.
A joint statement issued on Wednesday said, "Both ministers were committed to further enhance bilateral defence ties between India and Singapore, and supported multilateral initiatives to promote lasting peace and stability in the region."
Singh, on his part, reaffirmed "Asean centrality" in the regional security architecture and pledged India’s support to all endeavours of the Asean defence ministers’ meeting ADMM-Plus.
Ng, in turn, expressed support for India’s upcoming co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus experts’ working group on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).