India and Singapore on Wednesday exchanged a Letter of Intent that could pave the way for the city-state to conduct live firing of missiles like the Spyder air defence system at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha.
This was agreed during the 4th India-Singapore Defence Ministers' Dialogue (DMD) which was co-chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Singapore counterpart Dr Ng Eng Hen here on Wednesday.
It is perhaps for the first time that India will open Chandipur Integrated Test Range for any foreign country. Singapore Defence Minister Dr Ng said that it would be impossible to fire missiles like the Spyder ground-based air defence systems in Singapore as it is a small country.
"So we're very thankful to India for providing that facility. India is a large country with a large land mass, and we understand also that this is a significant gesture on their part. We want to use the facility very productively," Dr Ng was quoted as saying by the Straits Times newspaper.
The Integrated Test Range (ITR), a well equipped Test and Evaluation (T&E) center of DRDO, is set up to provide safe and reliable launch facilities for performance evaluation of rockets, missiles and air-borne weapon system, according to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) website.
Singh held wide-ranging talks with Ng following which the two ministers witnessed the exchange of the Letter of Intent on Singapore's use of Chandipur Integrated Test Range in Odisha as well as on deepening Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) cooperation.
The two sides also identified new areas of cooperation in the already strong and diversified defence partnership, including in exercises and test firing by Singapore in India, information exchange, launch of micro satellites in India, geo-spatial data sharing, Artificial Intelligence and cyber security.
The 4th Defence Ministers' Dialogue (DMD) between India and Singapore was successfully concluded in Singapore today.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) November 20, 2019
Both the countries have reiterated their commitment to further strengthen, broaden and deepen the defence and strategic cooperation. pic.twitter.com/Mwj3kbqur1
Singh also invited Singapore to invest in research, development and testing facilities in the upcoming defence industrial corridors in India. Dr Ng agreed to explore opportunities for joint collaboration.
Ng welcomed India's continued engagement to the region and its active role in the regional security architecture.