The broader convergence of strategic interests between India and Singapore is the driving factor for these engagements.
Photo: M. Asokan — © MEAphotogallery/Flickr
As was noted earlier this week, India and Singapore have just completed their annual joint army exercise, called “Bold Kurukshetra 2019.” The recent bilateral military exercise is a reflection of the growing strategic proximity between India and Singapore in the face of a series of challenges, including a growing and muscular China.
Singapore has remained one of India’s major security partners in Southeast Asia. The two countries signed their first Defense Cooperation Agreement in October 2003 and a separate memorandum of understanding on joint army exercises in 2005. The two then signed several more agreements for accelerating the pace of military-to-military relations in 2007 and 2008. These agreements have been reviewed and renewed periodically, maintaining their commitment to developing a habit of cooperation between the two countries’ armed forces.
Given Singapore’s territorial limitations, India has also opened its own military training facilities, such as the air force and artillery firing ranges, to the Singapore Armed Forces. Besides, the Indian and Singapore navies have been engaged in the annual naval exercise series called SIMBEX for more than two decades. In fact, the two countries celebrated the silver jubilee of their naval exercises last year with major displays of “multidimensional drills,” which saw the participation of many different types of ships and aircraft from India and Singapore.
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