Oct 10: Defence Secretary Vijay Singh and Singapore’s permanent secretary of defence, Chiang Chie Foo signed an agreement at a two day India Singapore defence policy dialogue [fourth in the series] which would allow Republic of Singapore Air Force ((RSAF) to use Indian Air base Kalaikunda to train its air force personnel. Defence ministry of India would charge some fee on RSAF for using the resources of Indian air force.
Though government sources have not cited it as a lease agreement, they called it a long term arrangement for five years to hold joint training and exercises between Indian Air Force and Republic of Singapore Air Force.
Both the secretaries gave a report on the progress of India-Singapore defence relations stressing a need on the intensification of the cooperation.
Progress was reported in various fields such as research and development. The regional security aspects were also got a place in the discussions.
Singapore , being a city-state having just 700 sq km, does not have airspace and facilities enough to train it air force personnel to make them aware of the new additions to its Air Force.
Kalaikunda, established during the Second World War and reactivated in 1955, is the most striking and unique war bird display. This air base is being developed since 2004 when first time India conducted joint exercises with Singapore. Recently it has become a favourite base to have joint exercises with foreign countries.
This is a big airbase with associated range facilities, which attracts a large number of aircraft on deployment.