Singapore Defence Minister flies on Indian fighter plane Tejas

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"Not only will Singapore be comfortable (with berthing of Indian naval ships) but would also encourage Indian Navy to visit Changi port more often", he said.

Singapore defence minister Ng Eng Hen shakes hands after a sortie in the trainer version of the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) at the Kalaikunda IAF base in West Bengal on Tuesday. Taking Sitharaman into confidence, the Singapore Minister said that he will try to economise and support each other in mutual logistics.

Referring to regional security scenario in the maritime domain, both ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining freedom of navigation and trade consistent with worldwide law, a joint statement issued after the talks said. "Because we know it is the lifeline for economies".

The pact on naval cooperation provides for increased engagement in the maritime security sphere, joint exercises, temporary deployments from each other's naval facilities and logistics support.

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"We want to see more participation, cooperation and activity in both the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea", said Dr Ng, adding that it was crucial to join forces against terrorism, chemical, biological and radiological threats.

The two sides reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation and trade consistent with global laws. "It has very impressive avionics, it is a superb plane...", Dr. Ng said in response to a question from The Hindu.

"Privileged to be flown on the Tejas, India's own designed and manufactured fighter aircraft".

"In fact the plane ride was so smooth that despite the G-turns and manoeuvres, I managed to even take some selfies", Ng said.

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Dr Ng inspects the guard of honour at India's Ministry of Defence. He also praised Air Vice Marshal AP Singh, who piloted the aircraft, saying he felt like he was riding on a vehicle.

Dr Ng Eng Hen visited the Republic of Singapore Air Force-Indian Air Force Joint Military Training at Kalaikunda Air Force Station in Kolkata.

Ng said that Tejas was very very capable.

Singapore has showed interest in buying Tejas, defence sources told PTI.

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"I am not a pilot... it is for the technical people to take a call on it", he said.

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